The statewide deer population of 1 million has been relatively stable since the mid 1990s. The outlook for 2003 is excellent. Last year 149,000 hunters took 329,000 whitetails, a figure that should be realized again this season.
Deer project leader Charles Ruth says the best public opportunities are in areas of Sumter National Forest located in Abbeville, McCormick, Newberry and Union counties. Opportunities for hunting in the coastal plain are available on smaller WMAs. Contact: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (803-734-3886; www. dnr.state.sc.us).