BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) -- Squeals and gunshots after the sun goes down may soon be coming to an area near you. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing to allow night hunting of wild hogs and coyotes.
For years, the only game animals North Carolinians could hunt at night have been raccoons and opossums, but thanks to increases in populations of wild hogs and coyotes, the state has called for changes on when folks can hunt these animals.
Scott Blevins is no stranger to hunting. He has a room in his Boiling Spring Lakes home dedicated to the sport, with trophy heads and pictures lining the walls. Blevins has a permit to night hunt wild hogs, and may soon be allowed to hunt coyotes after dark too.
“The hogs, more so than the coyotes are horrible to the land,” Blevins said. “They will decimate crops, tear people's yards up. They are detrimental to the habitat that they inhabit.”
The proposal to hunt the feral pigs and coyotes at night was spurred by the growing populations of both animals, who are considered a nuisance to many and not native to North Carolina. Blevins says night hunting would greatly reduce the problem.
“The coyotes and the hogs are predominately nocturnal,” he said. “They are very adaptable, very smart, very cunning animals. So they have pretty much understood that they can't do the things in the daytime that they can do at night.”
Seasons for both animals are open year round during daytime hours, with no bag limits. Blevins says opponents of the proposal may find it risky, afraid some may take advantage of the proposed law to spotlight deer.
“It's dangerous,” Blevins said. “If someone is going down the road and they see a deer out in a field, shine a spotlight on the deer and shoot it, you don't know where your back stop is, you don't know if there's any homes behind the deer, you don't know if there's any people behind the deer. That's where it becomes a safety issue.”
Blevins says if people use the proposed rule correctly to hunt just coyotes and hogs, they would need to be in an elevated stand, which would reduce safety concerns.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal on March 26th at 7 p.m. in the Bladen County Courthouse.