Biologist Charles Ruth of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources said the laws for harvesting wild hogs have been made much less restrictive in recent years to help reduce the growing population.

“Many hunters enjoy harvesting and eating wild hogs, and since there is no closed season hog hunting has increased in popularity,” he said. “However, this lack of restrictions has led to a proliferation of hogs in recent years. Only 25 years ago, hogs were primarily restricted to coastal river swamps. Over time, hunters from other parts of the state decided it would be good to have the same opportunities. This led to the illegal trap, transport and release of hogs in areas where they previously did not occur.

“Hunting hogs is a double-edged sword; it helps reduce numbers on one hand, but it is an incentive to have them on the other hand.”

Ruth said that hunting hogs has benefits both as a sport for big game as well as for property management and to help minimize damage caused by the animals. He said to closely check the regulations digest for hog hunting because there are specific limitations for hunting at night, but there are legal opportunities to hunt hogs year-round, both day and night.