First Season Upstate Hunters Can Legally Bait Deer - WSPA.com

First Season Upstate Hunters Can Legally Bait Deer

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The ban on deer baiting is over in the Upstate, and wildlife officials are predicting hunters could have a better deer season. The ban on deer baiting is over in the Upstate, and wildlife officials are predicting hunters could have a better deer season.
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -

Locked and loaded, Gary Stiles is ready for deer season.

Hunts are currently underway in Spartanburg County and throughout most of the Upstate.

Archery season began Monday for Zone 2. Wildlife officials say things have started off smoothly.

In just two weeks, the outdoors will no longer be as peaceful and quiet as hunters in Zone 1 or Zone 2 can begin using muzzleloaders which is a primitive-type firearm.

“And we do have a big influx of out-of-state hunters coming in. South Carolina really has one of the largest bag limits and the longest hunting season than any other southern state,” said DNR Game Warden Kenneth League.

The much-anticipated gun hunts set off in less than a month on Oct. 11.

What's new this year is that hunters in the Upstate can legally bait deer on private lands for the first time ever.

In the past, you could get a fined up to a $1,000 even though it was legal to use bait in other parts of the state.

“If we had put out feed for any reason, we had to take it up,” says Stiles. “You couldn't hunt over corn."

Stiles is happy about the change. He believes it will increase his chance of bagging a large buck.

Another difference for hunters to keep in mind is that when bear season opens, hunters can continue to look for deer.

“In the past, you have not been able to deer hunt,” says League, “it was shut down for those two weeks."

What lawmakers can't dictate, but more good news for hunters – the Department of Natural Resources has found the state's deer population to be healthy.

They also believe hunters will have success in the woods.

“As far as fawns, I have seen more twins than I usually have,” Stiles said.

Deer hunting season runs until Jan. 1.

Wildlife officials remind hunters to pay attention to bag limits. No more than five bucks can be taken throughout all seasons.

For more information about hunting rules and regulations, click here.

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