Wildlife Management Program: Update to 1/9/2023 Tidings

This is a follow-up to the Wildlife Management Tidings sent on January 9, 2023. In 2014, Palmetto Dunes Property Owner’s Association (PDPOA) began monitoring the deer population in the community by consulting with a wildlife management company to conduct deer spotlight surveys. In February 2022, the Association contracted David Henderson to conduct its first deer cull consisting of 30 deer.

In 2022, the Association contracted Jim Jordan with Lowcountry Wildlife Specialists to complete two deer spotlight surveys totaling six nights. Jordan resides in the Charleston, SC area and is employed full-time by the Town of Kiawah Island, SC as a wildlife biologist. Subsequent to this, the Association learned that Lowcountry Wildlife Specialist is co-owned by Jordan and Henderson. Henderson resides in the Bluffton, SC area and is employed full-time as a wildlife biologist for Sea Pines. According to Jordan, the two attended college together at the University of Georgia and formed the limited liability company in 1999 but have been primarily operating independently since 2005. It was the Association’s understanding that since 2005 both operated under the company umbrella as a matter of convenience.

To prevent any conflict with Jordan and Henderson being co-owners of Lowcountry Wildlife Specialists, the Association contracted the United States Department of Agriculture (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) in January 2023 to complete a third deer spotlight survey totaling two nights (completed on January 31 and February 1). The results of the spotlight surveys conducted in 2022 and 2023 were consistent in indicating a high population of deer in Palmetto Dunes. The Association also conducted a community sentiment Wildlife Survey this past September. The survey responses were comparable to the 2020 Wildlife Survey.

Based on the community survey as well as the spotlight surveys, the Association will be conducting a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) permitted deer cull exclusively in the Mariners section of the community. Lowcountry Wildlife Specialists initially recommended a harvest of 50 deer; however, the Association will seek to harvest no more than 30 deer by March 1st,  2023. In comparison, listed below are nearby communities and how many deer have been permitted by SCDNR for harvesting this season (September 15, 2022-March 1, 2023):

Belfair: 20
Berkeley Hall: 20
Hilton Head Plantation: 25
Leamington: 30
Long Cove/Wexford: 30
Palmetto Hall: 45
Port Royal: 65
Sea Pines: 60

Per SCDNR Guidelines, an approved sharpshooter will be contracted to conduct the cull and the processed meat will be donated to a local food bank. Security personnel will assist during this process to ensure that all safety protocols are followed. Community members should not experience any inconveniences during this time and we expect that the deer cull will enhance the safety of the community for all of those that live, invest, work, and play here.

Learn more about the Wildlife Management Program.


Palmetto Dunes POA – Spotlight Survey Data
Date Vendor Deer Count Acres/Deer
August 2020 Folk Land Management 34 7.0
September 2021 Lowcountry Wildlife Specialists 35.3 6.6
September 2022 Lowcountry Wildlife Specialists 44.3 5.3
November 2022 Lowcountry Wildlife Specialists 46.3 6.5
February 2023 US Dept of Agriculture 30 7.7
According to the SCDNR, historical data suggests that urban forest areas
can generally support a healthy population of somewhere in the range of one
deer per fifteen to twenty acres.