** Archived Article - please check for current information. **
January 22, 2015North Island hog hunts with dogs to remove destructive feral hogs
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will continue efforts to remove and eliminate feral hogs from North Island in Georgetown County by scheduling three hog hunts with dogs. Although feral hog numbers are down on North Island, they continue to cause damage to the environment. “Feral hogs have continued to cause destruction to the landscape and native plants, jeopardizing the nesting success of ground-nesting birds and sea turtle nests scattered along the beaches of this barrier island,” said Jamie Dozier, wildlife biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
These hunts are part of an overall hog removal project on the Yawkey Wildlife Center. This removal effort includes partnerships with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s South Carolina Coastal Program, The United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Agency and the Belle Baruch Foundation at Hobcaw Barony.
In order to help remove the destructive feral hogs, DNR will allow three hog hunts with dogs to take place on North Island only. The three day hunt periods (Thursday-Saturday) are scheduled for Feb. 12-14, 19-21, and 26-28 from sunrise to sunset only. North Island is only accessible after crossing Winyah Bay by boat and contains 1,410 acres of uplands and 1,703 acres of marsh. Hunters are reminded this is a remote location and can be a strenuous hunt.
Hunters must comply with the following guidelines in order to participate in the North Island hog hunts with dogs:
* No more than four bay or catch dogs per party.
* No still or stalk hunting is allowed.
* One shotgun permitted per party (buckshot only), and sidearms will also be permitted.
* Hog hunters must have in their possession a valid South Carolina hunting license.
* All hunters are required to wear a hat, coat, or vest of solid international orange while hunting.
* Hogs may not be removed from North Island alive.
Hunters are also reminded the North Island lighthouse grounds are off limits. Do not enter the buildings or area immediately surrounding the lighthouse.
The staff at the USDA Wildlife Services would like to collect information about the number of hogs removed. Hunters should call their toll free phone number (1-866-4USDAWS ext. 2) to report any hogs harvested. DNR staff will also periodically be on site to collect pertinent information.
For more information contact the Yawkey Wildlife Center at (843) 546-6814.
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