CHESTERFIELD, S.C. - Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge in Chesterfield County, South Carolina has been open since 2000. This is the first year it's offering a night hunting package for hogs. "We've had a couple of hunts and the activity's been good," says owner Tom Naumann. He says the lodge's calendar is filling up. The season started March 1st and runs through July 1st. Naumann says, "It should be busy and I expect it to be successful as we move forward."
The Department of Natural Resources says hogs, coyotes and armadillos may be hunted at night with or without bait, electronic calls, lights and night vision devices. Permitted hunters have to give SCDNR officials 48 hours notice. They must provide the location of the property where they'll hunt. Hunters using center-fire rifles must also be in an elevated position at least ten feet off the ground.
So far, more than 500 hunters have reportedly registered. Naumann says South Carolina is now in step with night hunting in North Carolina and Georgia. He says hogs pose the biggest problem: they breed quickly and destroy crops, gardens and yards. Night hunting is the best way to control the nocturnal animals and Naumann welcomes the new law. He says, "It's gonna help because the way to really lower the population and hunt 'em is to do that at night. It's difficult during the day time."
Concerns over safety for hunters and livestock prevented this type of season in years past. As the weather warms up, DNR law enforcement officers do expect to address more issues, including night-time gun noise complaints.