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Hunting in South Carolina: 3 Invasive Species to South Carolina and Its Rules for Hunting Them

Hunting in South Carolina: 3 Invasive Species to South Carolina and Its Rules for Hunting Them
L-R: Feral Hogs, European Starling, House Sparrow. (Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Saturday, 30 May 2015 02:00 PM

Hunting laws in South Carolina permit hunting of several invasive species and require adherence to the state’s other hunting regulations.

An invasive species as one that is not native to a region and that causes harm to the economy, environment or public health. According to the National Wildlife Federation, invasive species pose a threat to an estimated 42 percent of the nation’s threatened and endangered species. Invasive species cost the U.S. economy more than $100 billion per year, according to South Carolina’s Clemson University.

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To keep these potentially dangerous species under control, many states allow open hunting to keep the numbers down and protect native animals. Here are three invasive species that are legal to hunt in South Carolina.

1. Feral Hogs
As in many other states, the feral hog is a nonnative species to South Carolina and is considered a major nuisance to property, livestock and public health. Sam Chappelear, of the state’s Department of Natural Resources, told the Post and Courier newspaper that the feral hog has inflicted major damage on the habitats of several endangered and threatened species. Hogs also compete with native species for food.

On private land, you may hunt feral hogs year-round, both during the day and at night, and you may hunt the animal with the aid of dogs, according to the Department of Natural Resources. In the state’s wildlife management areas, you may hunt hog during every open game season unless that area has specific restrictions.

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2. European Starling
The PBS show “Nature" listed the European starling as one of the worst offenders among the nation’s invasive species. Introduced from Europe in 1890, the bird quickly invaded all 50 states and threatened native bird species. South Carolina’s DNR said the starling does not have protected status. The state has no specific laws governing the hunting of this bird.

3. House Sparrow
Introduced into the United States in the 1850s, this bird is a weaver finch. The American Bird Conservancy described it as aggressive and a threat to native crops and birds. The bird is not protected by state or federal law, and South Carolina does not regulate hunting of it.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting laws in South Carolina permit hunting of several invasive species, but require adherence to the state's other hunting regulations.
South Carolina, hunting, invasive species
Saturday, 30 May 2015 02:00 PM
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