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Deer Hunting over Bait Set to Pass Senate
web posted January 23, 2013
COLUMBIA – A Senate Bill, S91, received
second reading on the floor of the South Carolina Senate on Tuesday and
is expected to pass a third reading on Wednesday that would allow
hunting over bait legal statewide, Sen. Shane Massey
(R-Edgefield) said Tuesday evening. Last year, the Attorney General
issued an opinion that the law actually does not prohibit hunting for
deer over bait in the Upstate. This set off a debate to clarify the law.
"I think the law should treat everybody equally," Sen. Massey said. In
his Senate district, hunters in Aiken and Lexington Counties can hunt
over bait, usually corn, while those in Edgefield, Saluda and McCormick
County cannot. Massey said the original intent was to cut deer
populations in the lower part of the state, but he did not see any data
that shows a disparity between Aiken County and Edgefield County when
it comes to deer populations.
"Third reading in the Senate is generally a formality," Sen. Massey
said. Once the bill is passed it will head to the House where passage
is also expected. There have been no indications from Gov. Nikki Haley
on whether or not she will sign the bill into law.
"It came down to whether or not we went back to the old law prohibiting
hunting over bait and removed it in the lower state," Massey said. With
much of the state already being able to hunt over bait, prohibition
statewide got very little support.
Sen. Massey said the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) signed off
on the bill early on in the debate for clarification purposes as
different Magistrates were ruling differently on DNR cases.
You can read a copy
of the Senate Bill S91 here.
The bill does not address the same disparity in the use of dogs to run
deer on hunts in the Lower State Wildlife Zones that are illegal in the
Upper State Zones.
Edgefield Daily will continue to follow this bill as it makes its way
through the House.
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