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Feral Hog

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Feral or wild hogs occur in the wild in every county of the state. They compete directly with native wildlife species, damage plants, agricultural crops and threaten public and livestock health. Those dressing feral hogs should wear rubber gloves and eye protection.

It is illegal to remove a hog from the wild alive unless it is taken pursuant to a permit issued by the SCDNR at a cost of $50 (50-16-25). All hogs taken pursuant to a permit must be tagged in each ear with tags provided by the Department and may only be released onto the same tract of land or into a permitted hog hunting enclosure within the county where the hogs were captured. Hogs taken under permit within a county cannot be transported into or through another county.

There is no closed season or weapon restrictions on hogs on private land during daylight hours. Hogs can be hunted at night with or without the aid of bait, electronic calls, artificial lights, or night vision devices using a bow and arrow other than a crossbow, or a pistol of any caliber having iron sights, a barrel length not exceeding nine inches, and which is not equipped with a butt-stock, scope, or laser sight (50-11-710). Hogs may not be hunted at night with a centerfire rifle or shotgun, unless specifically permitted by the department. Dogs can be used to hunt and bay hogs at night as long as the hunter(s) complies with the equipment restrictions above.

From the last day of February to July 1, upon notification to SCDNR (www.dnr.sc.gov/nighthunt) at least 48 hours in advance, hogs may be hunted at night with artificial lights and night vision devices using any legal firearm, bow, or crossbow. Notice to the SCDNR is required once per season for each property and the names and hunting license numbers of each person participating in the hunt must be listed. Hunters using centerfire rifles during this time must be at an elevated position at least 10 feet from the ground. Persons convicted of certain road hunting and night hunting violations during the previous five years are ineligible to hunt hogs at night.

Hogs cannot be hunted at night on WMA lands, but can be hunted during the day on WMAs where hog hunting is allowed. See section Wildlife Management Area Program.

Swine brucellosis

Swine brucellosis is caused by a bacteria and is primarily a reproductive tract disease in wild pigs that can be transmitted to humans. Infections are manifested by flu-like symptoms including fever, headaches, muscle and joint soreness and weakness. The fatality rate in humans is very low, but the disease often is prolonged and debilitating. Humans have contracted swine brucellosis from handling and dressing wild swine. This disease is present in many wild hog populations in SC. Persons dressing wild swine should take the following precautions: 1) use disposable rubber gloves and protective eyeglasses while dressing the carcass, 2) minimize handling of the reproductive tracts of both sexes, 3) dispose of waste parts by burying or burning, 4) clean up with hot water and soap after processing, and 5) cook meat thoroughly to 160º F prior to eating.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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