Action Alert:  Oppose Uncontrolled Killing of Deer and Other Wildlife Without a Depredation Permit in South Carolina (H 5041)

February 14, 2024 By: NDA Staff

South Carolina House Bill 5041 (H 5041) would permit a landowner or lessee to take a deer, wild boar, and other crop-consuming wild animals on agricultural use land that the operator owns or leases without a depredation permit.

In essence, the passing of this bill would permit an owner or agent of an agricultural operation as defined by the bill to arbitrarily kill deer based on their interpretation that it is performing and act of depredation.

Simply put, if a deer, or any other animal for that matter, is observed feeding on land deemed to be an agricultural operation, it can be killed without requirement for formal justification or reporting. Furthermore, there is no defined requirement for utilization of deer or other animals once killed.


Please consider joining the National Deer Association (NDA) in opposing this legislation. South Carolina H 5041 is a dangerous bill that allows the killing of deer and other wildlife in an uncontrolled manner and would set a horrible precedent for how wildlife is managed in South Carolina.

While we recognize that deer depredation can pose a risk to an agricultural producer’s crop and livelihood due to financial loss, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources already has a deer depredation permit program in place.

Currently, landowners must request a deer depredation permit and then have a local conservation officer verify that a problem exists before a permit can be issued. This ensures that the agency maintains management control of the resource for the benefit of deer, hunters, and other stakeholders.

CLICK HERE to ask your lawmakers to oppose H 5041.

NDA supports wildlife management led by state wildlife management agencies, not policy or regulations driven by dangerous legislation like H 5041. We are empathetic to the challenges faced by agricultural producers related to wildlife depredation, but it is critical that wildlife management decisions remain led by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

A suitable deer depredation permitting process that mirrors other effective programs around the country is already in place. Please join us by opposing this bill that is bad for deer and other wildlife as well as a broad array of stakeholders.