Wild Hog (Sus scrofa)

April 2024
Written By: 
Grand Strand Magazine Staff
Photographs by: 
courtesy of shutterstock

- These non-native interlopers were brought by Spanish and other European explorers as early as the 1500s. The term “Wild Hog” refers to the Eurasian wild boar, feral hogs (domesticated pigs that went on the lam or were deliberately introduced into the wild for hunting) and hybrids of the two, according to the SC Wild Hog Task Force.

- Wild boars are omnivores and will eat just about anything and everything, and it’s their voracious appetite that makes them a nuisance; their tusks, razor-sharp teeth, and rather surly and aggressive attitude make them dangerous. They will allegedly eat newborn livestock, for example, with biologists explaining that it’s the baby’s afterbirth the hogs are seeking. Additionally, they can spread zoonotic diseases to humans and livestock.

- The wild porkers have now been found in all 46 of South Carolina’s counties. Originally, their range was the coastal plains and along rivers, but these pugilistic pigs have propagated prodigiously since the 1900s, rooting their way through at least 40 of the 50 states, says the task force.

- These invasive animals are very smart, hardy, resilient, and hugely adaptive, biologists say. Their tusks enable them to root up and trample native species of flora and fauna, contributing to the near decimation of some already endangered plants. Furthermore, according to a study by the SC Farm Bureau, the pigs cause tens of millions of dollars in damage each year to agriculture, rural land, and developed landscapes.

- Hunting wild boar is a favored pastime in the Palmetto State. Because of the animals’ intellect, sharp instinct, and keen sense of hearing and smell, harvesting them evidently poses a unique, challenging, and even dangerously thrilling opportunity to those who are eager to track and kill them. There is currently no bag limit on hunting them, with the exception of killing them on state/federal land in South Carolina.