Whitetail Hunting photo

Overall activity status: Activity is rather slow so far. Deer are still in their summer patterns, which means they’re moving sparingly, and mainly at night and at dawn and dusk. Cooler weather is needed to get them moving more. Deer season is open only in parts of South Carolina and Florida. South Carolina Low Country hunters have been at it since August 15. One of those is Patrick Wall, who has hunted a few mornings and evenings so far. “Seeing several deer each sit very early in the mornings and late in the afternoons,” Patrick said. “Young bucks are still in velvet and hanging together. Haven’t seen a shooter yet. By the camera, most activity seems to be in the early morning hours before sun up.”

Fighting: None yet.

Rub making: Most bucks should begin shedding their velvet about now. As the velvet dries, bucks will rub their new racks on small trees and brush to get it off. With careful observation, you may find some velvet strips hanging on branches.

Scrape making: None yet.

Chasing: None yet, for the most part. The lone exception may be in pockets in south Florida, as noted in this week’s first report.

Daytime movement: Daytime movement is very limited. Most activity with any light will be at dawn and dusk. If the weather is rainy or overcast, there can be some daytime sightings.

Estrous signs: We are still a long way from most serious rut action and any estrous does. Again, south Florida may have some action.

X-Factor: Though it’s still hot, South Carolina hunters’ best chances of some early season venison will be around food sources and fields at dusk. “The much anticipated start of the 2014 deer season is just around the corner, and South Carolina’s deer population is healthy and the season outlook is good,” says Charles Ruth, South Carolina’s DNR Deer Program Coordinator. “Although the deer harvest has been on a downward trend the last few years, indicating that population levels have moderated, hunter success and deer harvest rates remain good.

“Top counties for harvest in 2013 included Bamberg, Union, Allendale, Spartanburg, and Calhoun with each of these counties exhibiting harvest rates in excess of 15 deer per square mile,” Ruth noted. “Very few areas in the United States consistently yield comparable harvest figures. Top counties for quality deer in 2013 included Aiken, Kershaw, and Orangeburg in the coastal plain, and Anderson, Fairfield, and Oconee counties in the Piedmont. These results come as no surprise, as these counties have historically produced good numbers of record entries.”

Click here for more information about South Carolina deer hunting.