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      SC deer industry still making bucks in the off season

      COPE, SC (WACH) -- South Carolina's deer hunting season ended a month ago, but that means nothing to Roger Smoak who works with clients to help them attract deer and grow big bucks.

      "I tell people when deer season goes out January the first, it comes back in January the second," said Smoak, owner of Complete Wildlife Services. "We getting ready for next year."

      South Carolina has the longest rifle season in the nation, raking in nearly $300 million dollars in hunting revenue per year, according to the most recent U.S. government study. Smoak contributes to the deer industry by making sure herds are well fed year-round.

      "You need to start feeding your deer in January, because there's nothing else for them to eat," said Smoak. "It's gone. The acorns are gone unless you plant food plots."

      Smoak plants crops and puts out grain feeders throughout his clients' property to keep the deer around.

      "It's like this: If you go to a restaurant and they ain't got no food down there on the buffet bar, you goin' somewhere else, 'cause you gotta eat and you gone eat somewhere," said Smoak, explaining why he refills the deer feeders every four weeks.

      With spring around the corner, Smoak is just getting his hands dirty.

      "We getting ready for next year," said Smoak. "We getting ready to start planting corn in about four weeks. We talk about corn, we talk about deer hunting here."

      With more than 200,000 South Carolina hunters waiting for next season, Roger Smoak is working to make sure it's a successful one.