GREENSBORO—New rules go into effect Wednesday for night hunting of feral swine and coyotes.
Last year 88 out of 100 North Carolina counties reported wild hog problems and animal control officials say coyote sightings are becoming more frequent. Phil Handy, of Stokes County Animal Control, said he is constantly receiving calls about coyotes.
"People are talking about coyotes coming close to their house, some are even attacking dogs, cats. Of course livestock is a great threat around here, we've had a problem with goats and sheep getting killed," said Handy.
According to Handy, coyotes mainly attack their prey at night and are often to blame for missing pets and slaughtered livestock. The new rules allow hunters to hunt coyotes and feral swine at night with a light but only on private lands. Regulations are year-round and seven days a week.
Hunting on Sundays is allowed on private land but only with bow-and-arrow. The N.C. Cooperative Extension said that feral hogs are becoming more of an issue for area farmers because the swine are treating crops like an all-you-can-eat buffet.
"Unlike the deer that might pick a little bit here or a little bit there, they're just rooting up the entire field. So corn crops, soybean crops are two main crops here in the county acreage wise that are just devastated by them,” said Wick Wickliffe, of NC Cooperative Extension
Therefore, night hunting could help control the growing problem.
"You have to understand mother nature usually takes care of this herself but we have kind of gotten things unbalanced," said Wickliffe.
The rules will remain in effect for up to 270 days while the Wildlife Commission pursues permanent regulations.