Politics often stymies sound wildlife management

It’s often interesting to see how things are done in other parts
of the country. A few weeks ago, I was visiting my son and his
family in North Carolina and happened to check the sports section
of the local newspaper. An outdoor column written by an area writer
caught my attention because of the headline: “Most South Carolina
Hunters Want A Deer Harvest Limit.”

The article noted over 70 percent of South Carolina hunters
support a limit on the number of bucks a single hunter can kill
every year, and also back a mandated tagging program that would
provide a means to enforce the new limit. Despite the fact the
South Carolina deer herd has declined an estimated 25 percent
during the past 10 years, South Carolina has no enforceable limit
on the number of bucks a hunter can kill every year.

In addition, the same number of hunters who would like to see a
season limit on bucks would also support a modest fee imposed to
implement and manage the desired tagging program and for deer
research. As a result, the South Carolina Department of Natural
Resources, an agency similar to New York’s DEC, voted last December
to support a statewide limit of four bucks per hunter per year and
to require a mandatory deer tagging program be put in place. The
changes seem logical and appropriate but it seems that no matter
where you go the people who spend their lives managing game species
for the benefit of the species itself are hampered by the whims of
politicians. Although the South Carolina DNR can make these
recommendations, the hunting laws require approval by the state’s
General Assembly. It will be interesting to see if the South
Carolina lawmakers are concerned about the state’s deer herd or
about getting re-elected.


Categories: New York – Mike Raykovicz

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