The number of deer killed by hunters in South Carolina decreased slightly last year, down 4 percent to 217,854, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
The agency conducts an annual deer hunter survey to gather information on deer and other species. The survey was sent to 25,000 hunters.
Since a record total in 2002, the surveys have chronicled about a 30 percent decline in deer taken by hunters. The wildlife agency attributes that decline in part to changes in habitat and to a rise in depredation of young deer by the expanding coyote population in the state.
The survey also estimated that 28,211 coyotes and 26,674 wild hogs were killed by the 127,369 state residents and the 14,738 non-residents hunting deer in the state last year.
-- Joey Holleman