Aiken County Rep's Helicopter Hog Hunting Bill Approved by S.C. Senate

Thayne Muthler

South Carolina is on the verge of allowing the hunting of wild hogs from helicopters.

The South Carolina Senate has given its approval on Thursday for the final reading of a bill proposed by S.C. Rep. Bill Hixon. This bill grants permission for the hunting of feral hogs from helicopters, but only on properties that exceed 500 acres in size.

Aiken County Rep's Helicopter Hog Hunting Bill Approved by S.C. Senate

Bill Hixon lead the conversation for legal helicopter hog hunting in South Carolina. Photo by Lindsay Hodges.

Hixon, who represents House District 83, which encompasses North Augusta and southern Edgefield County, has been advocating for this measure to address the growing issue of feral hogs in the state. With the Senate's endorsement, this bill moves one step closer to becoming law, potentially providing a solution to the problem of feral hogs while ensuring the safety of larger properties.

The Department of Natural Resources in South Carolina will issue permits in an effort to combat the growing problem of feral hogs. These wild animals have become a major concern for the state's farmers, causing significant damage to crops and incurring substantial financial losses. According to the South Carolina Wild Hog Task Force, there are an estimated 138,000 feral hogs currently roaming the state. This alarming number has prompted lawmakers to take action and find effective solutions to address this issue.

Farmers in South Carolina are feeling the burden of dealing with feral hogs firsthand. State Representative Bill Hixon highlighted the challenges faced by farmers, emphasizing the rising costs associated with agriculture. From expensive chemicals to the high price of seeds and fuel, the financial strain on farmers is already significant. However, when feral hogs destroy an acre of crops, the losses are multiplied fivefold. This has prompted Hixon to propose measures aimed at reducing the feral hog population, particularly on large plantations and fields where the impact is most severe.

The urgency to tackle the feral hog problem has gained bipartisan support in the South Carolina Senate. On April 18, the Senate approved the second reading of a bill aimed at addressing this issue. The unanimous vote of 39-0 demonstrates the recognition of the severity of the problem and the need for immediate action. Senators such as Tom Young Jr., Shane Massey, and Nikki Setzler, from both Republican and Democratic parties, have shown their support for the bill. This united front signifies the importance of finding a solution that benefits the state's farmers and protects their livelihoods from the destructive impact of feral hogs.

Aiken County Rep's Helicopter Hog Hunting Bill Approved by S.C. Senate

On April 18, the bill received the Senate's approval for its second reading with a unanimous vote of 39-0. Notable senators who voted in favor of the bill were S.C. Tom Young Jr., R-Aiken, S.C. Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield, and S.C. Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington.

Prior to this, on March 7, the bill had already been approved by the South Carolina House of Representatives. Currently, the bill is in the process of being enrolled for ratification as an act. Once ratified, it will then proceed to Gov. Henry McMaster, who will have the authority to either sign it into law or veto it. The overwhelming support for the bill in both chambers of the General Assembly, with the House approving it 111-0 on second reading, suggests that there may be enough votes to override any potential veto.