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Feral Hog Invasion: War Against Invasive Species Goes Airborne

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Feral hogs are a perennial challenge for farmers across the Southeastern United States. According to the South Carolina Farm Bureau, the animals “account for $115 million in damage each year to South Carolina.” Not only that, “they destroy crops, decimate rural land and spread disease.”

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has called feral hogs a “dangerous, destructive, invasive species” – one whose geographic territory is “rapidly expanding” while its “populations are increasing across the nation.”

The question now: What is to be done about them?

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U.S. counties with feral swine infestations (Via: USDA)

Farmers have traditionally dealt with feral hog infestations by shooting the beasts with rifles or employing traps. But the S.C. House of Representatives is considering a bill that could take the war on hogs airborne.

This week, a House wildlife subcommittee will consider legislation (H.4612) which, if passed, would allow the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) to issue tags for shooting of feral hogs from helicopters.

As the bill is written, applicants would need to have a property of at least 1,000 contiguous acres, and DNR would have to disclose information about the airborne hog assaults. Those who shoot animals out of an aircraft without a tag would face misdemeanor charges.

(Click to View)

Feral hog (Via: TPWD)

Under the proposed language, the airborne sport hunting of hogs is explicitly prohibited – an important differentiation from states like Texas, where vendors like HeliBacon rent seats (and full-automatic machine guns) to hunters.

The wildlife subcommittee is also scheduled to consider another hog-related bill this week. That bill, H. 3963, proposes legalizing the use of buck tag revenue for the state’s coyote and hog management program.

Feral hogs will doubtless remain a serious problem in the Southeast in years to come, and this news outlet will continue to cover developments related to the issue.

Count on us to keep our audience updated as these bills advance through the S.C. General Assembly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: Travis Bell)

Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.

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10 comments

Avatar photo
The Colonel Top fan January 30, 2024 at 10:33 am

“airborne sport hunting of hogs…where vendors … rent seats (and full-automatic machine guns) to hunters…”

What could possibly go wrong?

Reply
JustSomeGuy Top fan January 30, 2024 at 10:45 am

I hear the .300 Blackout is effective against the spread of hogs.

Reply
Avatar photo
The Colonel Top fan January 30, 2024 at 11:14 am

and progeny…

Reply
JustSomeGuy Top fan January 30, 2024 at 11:35 am

Dang, that’s a professional-grade comment! So short, yet powerful.

Reply
Ralph Hightower Top fan February 11, 2024 at 5:04 pm

Good one!

Reply
Not Sayin', Just Sayin' January 30, 2024 at 10:49 am

Why not let the coyotes eat the feral hogs and then shoot the coyotes? #twostones

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E Prioleau Alexander Top fan January 30, 2024 at 11:01 am

Coyote, unfortunately, can’t take down a hog, except perhaps a piglet. They’re practically made if steel.

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Anonymous January 31, 2024 at 6:33 am

Those videos of the guys that use those round cages with feed in the middle and drop them catching 10 to 30 of these babies.

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timothy domin Top fan February 1, 2024 at 11:34 am

Not far enough. Let the sports hunters pay to shoot hogs. They get $2500-$5000 per person in Texas for a two hour ride to shoot hogs with machine guns. Look up “PORK CHOPPERS.” Helps pay for the costs of operating the helicopters. It is a win-win. Otherwise, you are asking farmers to pay all the costs of the helicopters, guns, ammo, etc.

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PorchSong February 2, 2024 at 9:47 am

Problem with these hogs outside of literally destroying the land and vegetation, causing the other indigenous animals to starve and lose their habitat, is that they breed geometrically. They can have two broods a year of up to 10 piglets in each litter and are fertile at 18 months. You would be astounded at the level of dMage these hogs cause. They are ruining the habitat for quail, doves, deer, etc.

Reply

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