Hunting will be temporarily banned in the Waccamaw River drainage system in portions of Horry and Georgetown counties, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources announced Friday.
High river levels and widespread flooding have displaced many animals from their normal escape routes and confined them to small areas of high ground, making them vulnerable to exploitation by hunters, DNR said in a post on its website Friday.
The 10-day hunting ban goes into effect at midnight Saturday and will last through midnight Tuesday, Oct. 25.
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It applies to all game except for alligators, doves, hogs and coyotes.
DNR also warned people to be cautious of animals that have moved to higher ground in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
It’s a natural instinct for wildlife to seek safety and return to their natural habitats as they can, DNR officials said in a news release Friday. But people who spot wildlife should not approach, attempt to feed or attempt to catch the animals, officials warn.
“While SCDNR understands and appreciates public concern, we want to assure everyone that the overall fish and wildlife populations are stable and should not experience any long-term negative impacts from this natural disaster,” said Emily Cope, deputy director of wildlife and freshwater fisheries for DNR.