Hunters can hog hunt on public lands

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By HEATHER RUPPE

Colder weather makes for a better barbecue season, and there is a bounty of wild hogs available in the Lowcountry.
Feral, or wild hogs, are found in every county in South Carolina, including Colleton. They are not protected and there is no closed season or bag limit on wild hogs in South Carolina, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
The hogs compete directly with agricultural crops and they threaten public health and livestock, according to information from S.C. DNR. Because of this, feral hogs can be trapped year-round on private lands without a license or permit. However, it is illegal to use a snare trap, or a cable restraint, or any hog. Traps used to capture hogs must allow deer, bear or other larger animals to escape from them, and should not trap or injure other wildlife.
On public lands, or Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), there are seasons. In Colleton County, Donnelly is the WMA. Wild hog hunting at Donnelly is permitted from March 3-5th.

Hunting licenses are required to hunt wild hogs.

Safety steps on dressing wild hogs
Wild hogs carry a bacteria known as Swine Brucellosis. This is mostly found in the hog’s reproductive tract and it is a disease that is transmittable to humans. When a human catches it, a person has flu-like symptoms, including muscle aches, body aches, fever, weakness and headaches. To prevent people from getting this disease, any hunter that is handling or dressing wild swine should always wear disposable rubber gloves and protective eyeglasses.
Also, always wash your hands thoroughly and cook meat thoroughly to 160-degrees Fahrenheit prior to eating. Extra hog parts should also be disposed of by burying them or burning them, to prevent further animals from ingesting the disease.
History of Wild Hogs
According to the S.C. DNR, wild pigs were first released in the Palmetto State by the Spanish in the 1500s near the coast, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that there introduced into the mountains, or Upstate, of South Carolina. Now, they are documented inhabitants in every county in the state. The harvest of wild pigs in 2009 was estimated at 36,888 and the estimated population in 2010 is 150,000, according to SCNDR.

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