A Kershaw County farmer is upset after he says a 16-year-old hunter killed several of his hogs.
Jason Southers, co-owner of Goat Daddy’s Farms near Elgin, said in a Facebook video that the hogs were killed Friday night while he had his niece at the farm helping him make cheese. They heard a gunshot around 5:30 p.m., and immediately thought something strange was happening.
“We hear gunshots all time, but not as close this one was,” he said.
But a quick look around the property didn’t uncover anything, so Southers fired his own gun into a nearby tree just to make the farmer’s presence known. But he soon heard more shots fired from the area where the farm keeps about two dozen hogs.
He said he found an unaccompanied 16-year-old hunter firing at the hogs kept inside an electric fence on the property. Before he could stop him, four hogs had already died from gunshots. After a vet was called to the farm, two more hogs had to be euthanized, Southers said.
As the name might imply, Goat Daddy’s primarily raises goats to produce milk and cheese for market, but also has other livestock including hogs raised for pork. But the secluded area is also frequented by hunters at this time of year looking for feral hogs.
“Hunters, if you have any questions, contact (the S.C. Department of Natural Resources) before you are hunting on a farm,” Southers said in the video posted under the title “NOT a story I was wanting to share, but one that I feel like needs to be shared.”
Kershaw County sheriff’s deputies and DNR agents were called to the farm on Friday, and Southers said law enforcement is handling the matter now. It’s not clear if the teenaged hunter will face any charges for killing the hogs. Southers expressed amazement that someone so young could have been hunting on their own.
While the hogs are raised for meat, Southers said they try to raise them humanely, with plenty of space to roam within an invisible fence line on the property.
“They were standing 75 yards from their barn,” Southers said. “I don’t know any wild hogs that build shelters.”
Both the people and the hogs at Goat Daddy’s have been shaken by the shooting. Southers said the hogs had never had a reason to fear humans before now.
“Last night, I went to pet one and he took off running,” he said. “I’ve got 13 hogs that are skittish and nervous. They would have been humanely processed, they never have a moment of fear.”
The pain was compounded by the fact the shooting happened on a Friday night, before Goat Daddy’s regularly opens the farm to public visitors on Saturdays.
“It was a pretty awful Saturday for everybody who works at the farm,” Southers said.