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Conserve & Protect
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Author: Created: 11/30/2011 10:30 AM
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Blog
By NCWRC blogger on 7/23/2012 9:49 AM
If you are a seasoned hunter, you probably remember fondly the first time you went into the woods. Maybe your father, uncle or grandfather — or perhaps even a mother or aunt — guided you to harvesting your first deer, turkey or squirrel.

Unfortunately, that familiar rite of passage — the adult taking the youth hunting — doesn’t happen too often anymore. Studies have found that the number of hunters in the United States is steadily declining. However, studies also have shown that it takes a hunter to make a hunter. Those who take up hunting tend to have a family member who hunts.

Does Hunting Matter to you? Do you want to help preserve hunting for future generations in North Carolina? You can. The Hunting Matters! “Hats On” mentoring campaign allows hunters to volunteer to take someone new to hunting into the field in 2012.  

The Hunting Heritage Program of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will provide a limited number of free, specially designed hats and bumper stickers to hunters willing to pledge to mentor a new hunter between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31. It doesn’t even have to be a youth. Have a neighbor, a cousin, a grandmother, or even a coworker, for that matter, who has never hunted? They count. Our campaign defines “new hunter” as someone who has never hunted before. In 2010, the first time the Wildlife Commission had a “Hats On” campaign, about 3,500 folks pledged to mentor someone. With about 304,000 hunters in North Carolina, opportunities abound for increased involvement.  

By NCWRC blogger on 7/20/2012 12:42 PM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will present a free, special lunchtime program featuring live birds of prey on Friday, Aug. 3, at the Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education in Raleigh.

Join Steve Stone with the American Wildlife Refuge from noon to 1:30 p.m. for this family-oriented program, with live birds that have been rescued and are undergoing rehabilitation. Guests will see these amazing birds, learn about their life histories and hear the stories behind their rescues.

With seating limited, pre-registration is required and children must be accompanied by an adult. Register online here,...
By NCWRC blogger on 7/6/2012 3:54 PM
MAYBERRY, N.C. — We were saddened to learn earlier this week of the passing Andy Griffith, whose iconic “Andy Taylor” character earned him a spot among North Carolina’s favorite sons.

Born in Mt. Airy, N.C., Griffith was said to have based the town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith Show on his home town located in Surry County. Griffith’s “Andy Taylor” character was well known — and loved —for his gentle good humor, parenting wisdom, and charming, but effective, good-ol’-boy approach to problem solving.

But Andy Taylor was also known for his love of fishing, and that’s where we’re going with today’s blog — the shores of Myers Lake near Mayberry. 

Turns out the Surry County Arts Council still holds an annual “Mayberry Days” festival in Mt. Airy. In nearby Fleetwood, N.C., we find the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s D-7 Assistant...
By NCWRC blogger on 6/27/2012 12:29 PM
Boating safety means being prepared. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is helping by offering pre-launch boat safety checks this summer to make sure the required equipment is onboard, and to answer any questions that could help prevent a citation or accident.

Here are some recent comments that wildlife officers have heard from boaters after four pre-launch boating safety checks in the Piedmont.

As one boater from Mooresville explained to Master Officer Kenneth Osborne, "This was extremely helpful as our family is fairly new to boating.  We'd much rather make sure that we have everything right before hitting the water than get a ticket and have to pay a fine.  Most importantly, we'll feel much safer on the water now, knowing that we have all the safety equipment that we need.”

Another boater, being assisted by Wildlife Officer Scott Strickland, said, "We were short two life jackets and had no idea.  If something had gone wrong, who knows what could have happened?"  The group went directly to a nearby marina and purchased two PFDs and hit the water.

By NCWRC blogger on 6/20/2012 9:47 AM

This weekend is Operation Dry Water 2012, an annual nationwide campaign with law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies out in force June 22-24 to remind boaters that it is unsafe, as well as illegal, to operate a boat under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In North Carolina, penalties upon conviction include a maximum $1,000 fine and possible jail time.


Alcohol consumption by boaters affects:

  • Peripheral vision and ability to focus
  • Judgment and rational decision-making
  • Balance and equilibrium
  • Coordination and reaction time


Wind and waves, combined with heat, glare, motor noise and vibration can create a condition known as “boater fatigue.”  It can magnify the effects of alcohol on some individuals up to three times.

By NCWRC blogger on 6/14/2012 12:54 PM
Did you remember that Father’s Day is this Sunday? If so, and you’ve already gotten his present — well good for you! If, on the other hand, you forgot that June 17 is that special day to celebrate dad, then check out some of these gift ideas, which are all available at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s online N.C. Wild Store.

No matter if your dad hunts, fishes or just enjoys the outdoors, the Wild Store has a product we’re sure he will like.

A perfect gift for nearly every dad (or for yourself for that matter), is a subscription to Wildlife in North Carolina, the agency’s award-winning publication, which features stunning photographs and well-written articles on Tarheel wildlife, their habitats, wildlife research, and other interrelated natural resource topics. A one-year subscription is just $12, while a three-year subscription is $30. Both subscription options include two special edition guides — one in the spring on fishing and the other...
By NCWRC blogger on 6/6/2012 9:36 AM
I’m a desk jockey. I sit at my desk for 7, 8 maybe 9 hours a day cranking out information about wildlife in North Carolina. So, when I had a chance to participate in an education workshop about alligators, I jumped at the chance. After all, it isn’t every day that I get up close and personal with animals that I write about. 

I attended the recent “Alligators in North Carolina” workshop, conducted by Coastal Outreach Education Specialist Mike Campbell at Lake Waccamaw. If you’ve never attended a workshop by Campbell, I recommend doing so. He has an engaging manner and a lecture style that make the workshop informative, funny at times, and always enjoyable. Campbell began the four-hour workshop with a discussion on alligators — their habitats, habits, human interactions, ranges, mating preferences, calls, those sorts of things — an “Alligators for Dummies,” if you will.

By NCWRC blogger on 6/1/2012 10:24 AM
Fishing just got a little easier — well, finding fishing holes just got a little easier now that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has added a map of nearly 550 fish attractors placed in 50 of the most popular lakes, reservoirs and lakes throughout the state.

Complementing the fish attractor map are GPS coordinates, which anglers can import using a text file, an Excel file or a GPX (GPS Exchange Format) file.

If you’re using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device, you can access the map using the agency’s new mobile website. Just tap the “Fish Attractors” icon on the Maps tab.

The Commission added another map to its mobile website for anglers who are fishing along the coast and want to know if they’re fishing in joint or coastal waters. The Coastal/Joint Waters Map also is located under the Maps tab on the mobile website.

Check out both maps here.

By NCWRC blogger on 5/31/2012 8:36 AM
“How will I recognize it?”  I asked.

We were starting a series of surveys for the federally endangered Cape Fear shiner in 2007.  This unique, golden fish is found only in the Cape Fear river basin of North Carolina, and we were on a mission to ascertain its current status in the state.

“Oh, you’ll know it when you see it,” they assured me.

So I dutifully picked up my end of the seine and proceeded to stare intently at the endless piles of shiners we collected, humming, “Which one of these is not like the other…?”

The Cape Fear shiner is a member of the Notropis genus, approximately 18 of which live in North Carolina. Just within the Cape Fear basin, there are four or five Notropis species that are extremely difficult to distinguish from our target species.

“Look for...
By NCWRC blogger on 5/24/2012 8:15 AM
Last Report of the 2012 Striped Bass Season on the Roanoke River

On Tuesday, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission completed their last spawning stock assessment of the season. They collected about 75 striped bass while electrofishing at Weldon. According to Jeremy McCargo, a few stragglers are left, but for the most part the striped bass have made their way back down the river to the Albemarle Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Many thanks to the folks who made the fishing report possible this year: Jeremy McCargo, Chad Thomas, Ben Ricks and Kevin Dockendorf, who provided valuable field assistance, as well as provided updates for the fishing report throughout the season. Pete Kornegay and Frank McBride provided timely information from the creel survey that greatly assisted the report.

Without their weekly input, these reports could not have been written.

A special thanks to Charlton Godwin and Division of Marine Fisheries staff, as well as Julie Harris with N.C. State...

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