County leaders meet to discuss wild hogs, coyotes

LONGS, SC (WMBF)  Wild coyotes and hogs are getting familiar with Horry County neighborhoods, causing a lot of problems, including damage.

Experts tell WMBF News this isn't a surprise, since conflicts between hogs and humans are becoming more and more frequent, especially in Horry County, because with all the flooding this past summer, the animals have been moving further in.

"All of a sudden we had a pretty good infestation of hogs," said Dick Blackburn, who lives in the Colonial Charters Golf Course Subdivision, one of the areas being hit by hogs.

It's been enough to catch Horry County officials' attention. Horry County public safety officials are coming together Thursday to discuss the best ways to deal with the wildlife problem, and if they should. The county itself currently doesn't have any mechanisms or people trained to handle wildlife. Animal Control is only legally required to handle smaller animals like unwanted cats and dogs.

There are people in the area who are trained to handle it, but there's not many. There are only four DNR officers in Horry County, and they aren't responsible for trapping and removing animals.

Experts on wild hogs tell WMBF News that because hogs reproduce quickly, it's an issue you have to work fast to handle.

"If you find signs from hogs, you need to act quickly," said Waccamaw Wildlife Refuge Manager Craig Sasser. "Try to get the population under control or totally eliminated, and try to avoid that continued spread into other areas of the neighborhood."

Across South Carolina, Ben Powell with the S.C. Wild Hog Task Force says problems with wild hogs have been growing.

"All of a sudden the populations are growing exponentially," said Powell. "And they're causing excessive amounts of damage."

Hogs are known to damage crops and forestlands, and also eat small animals.

The Public Safety Committee meeting to discuss this starts at 3 p.m. at the Horry County Government and Justice Center. DNR Officers tell WMBF News if a resident is dealing with any wildlife problems, the best thing to do is to call a nuisance control company.

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