For the hunting enthusiast, few things can be more satisfying that hunting for wild boar. South Carolina has one of the largest populations of wild boar in the United States. These animals can be especially vicious, making the hunt that much more exciting.
South Carolina offers a number of options for hunting boar. On January 2 of every year, the Manchester State Forest, located near Sumter, holds a public-land, post season hunt. In February, you can also hunt with dogs for about three weeks out of the month.
January is usually one of the best times to hunt hogs at Manchester, as long as the river is not flooded. Many people hunt around the bottomlands, and the hogs will try to leave the area with rising water. The boars come up to the high ground and the sand ridges. These boar located on the high ground can still be hunted, because they are still inside the boundaries of the forest. The only restrictions in this area are that you cannot remove a live boar from the forest and you are not allowed to bait the hogs.
There are also a number of primitive weapon hunts for boar available. From January to March, a special muzzleloader and archery hunt is usually scheduled at the Santee Dam in Clarendon County. That’s two months that you are able to hung boar on public land. No dogs are allowed, so you must be a still hunter only. At the same time, you don’t’ have to worry about the intense action that a dog hunt brings. There is no limit to the number of boar you can take during this hunt.
Anyone who might have access to some private land that lies along the lower parts of the South Carolina’s river areas has access to these wild hogs. The hogs have been roaming around this state since the Spanish settlers came up the Savannah River back in the 1500’s. Many of the wild boars in this state are the offspring of hogs that were turned loose to feed on the land in the fall. Many of these hogs never returned to their pen. Still others were released intentionally to get hogs established in lands that had a low hog population. South Carolina law prevents hunters from trapping and then releasing any boar that was captured in another county.
The boar season runs from January to December. Sunday hunting in South Carolina is only allowed on private land. Wild boars are so plentiful there is often no limit set on the number you can bag. Many hunting lodges offer wild boar hunting trips and guarantee a kill. Several of these lodges will also clean and butcher the hog for you.
There are a couple of places in South Carolina that do not allow boar hunting with a big game rifle. These regions include the Game Zone One, in the counties of Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee. However, that still leaves a very large area for you to pursue the wild boar.