South Carolina Feral Hogs Might Have a New Threat: Helicopter Hunters

Bills sailed through the Palmetto State legislature that would allow the hunting of feral hogs from helicopters, which is common in Texas.

South Carolina Feral Hogs Might Have a New Threat: Helicopter Hunters

Hunters would have the chance to pursue hogs from helicopters in South Carolina after obtaining a permit from the state wildlife agency.

The state Senate in late April approved the third and final reading of Rep. Bill Hixon’s bill. The House approved the bill on March 7. Hunting could be done only via helicopter on properties of more than 500 acres, and hunters would have to obtain a permit from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

Hixon represents House District 83. That includes North Augusta and southern Edgefield County, in the west-central part of the state. It is largely rural agriculture land and bordered by the Savannah River, with the large Stevens Creek and tributaries also in the district.

The South Carolina Wild Hog Task Force estimates about 138,000 feral hogs live in South Carolina. There is no way to accurately gauge the number, though, because they can multiply rapidly. Hixon said the financial costs of farming, only to lose large portions of the product to hogs, spurred his bill. Feral hogs can devastate a large area of crops, from newly planted to mature, within just a day or two.

The bill had broad support from the top Senate leaders, as well as a 111-0 vote in the House on its second reading. 


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