Conserve & Protect
The Blog of N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

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By NCWRC blogger on 12/8/2014 5:23 PM


Take a break from all the holiday shopping and head outdoors with your binoculars and bird ID guide to participate in the longest-running citizen-science survey in the world — the 115th Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society.  Starting Sunday, Dec. 14, through Jan. 5, the Christmas Bird Count

is a perfect way for you to make an enormous contribution to bird conservation in North Carolina, regardless if you’re a backyard birder or a serious field observer. Best of all, it’s free and pretty easy to do, too. Just visit Audubon’s website to sign up and find a count near you.

According to Audubon, which organizes the annual count, the count takes place within “count circles,” which focus on specific geographical areas. Each circle is led by a count compiler...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/2/2014 12:03 PM
Go “Wild” this Holiday Season with Gifts that Benefit Wildlife in North Carolina

 

Looking for affordable, wildlife-related gifts that will appeal to that special hunter, angler, birder or outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift-giving list? Look no further than the Wildlife Commission’s Wild Store where cool gifts are just a click away.

Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the products go to support the Wildlife Commission’s projects and programs that benefit wildlife. Place your order by Dec. 12 for Christmas delivery. A few must-have items include:

 

The 2015 Wildlife Calendar ($9), which combines outstanding wildlife art with useful information such as fishing days, moon phases and wildlife migration and rut peaks. Wildlife Diversity T-shirt, $15 for adults, $12 for youth. The shirt’s front features a tundra swan flying across the agency’s wildlife logo and the back features a large rendition of the tundra...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/1/2014 3:52 PM
By Bill Stancil

 

[Editor’s Note: Stancil, of Rocky Mount, is a long-time volunteer instructor in the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Hunter Education Program. This entry originally appeared as an article in the third quarter 2014 Hunter Education Program newsletter, published by the Wildlife Commission (PDF): http://tinyurl.com/k96tpb2]

 

As a hunter education instructor, have you ever asked yourself: “Why am I still doing this? Where is my reward for spending hours involved in teaching other people (mostly strangers) about hunting and how to do it safely? Where is the payday for the time and effort I put into the Hunter Education Program?”

If you have, rest assured that you are not alone.

Like you, I am a volunteer instructor and have been helping...
By NCWRC blogger on 11/10/2014 3:21 PM
On Thursday, Oct. 30, 13 Fly-Fishing volunteers at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education completed their training on the Wulff School of Fly-Fishing method.  These volunteers with utilize this training during the Basic Fly-Fishing Clinics that are held at the Pechmann Center during the months of January, February and March. 

The intensive training program was held every other Thursday for six weeks and challenged the volunteers to learn a new method of teaching.  Key components of the Wulff School Method include: hands-on teaching, correct casting form, and mechanics.  A few comments from participants are below:

 “Probably the single most important item I learned is the construction of a good cast. I have noticed that my casting has improved through this training.”   

-          Rod MacLean

 

“I have been able to pinpoint some of the flaws in my casting. I was never taught to cast. I began fly fishing 30 years ago. I developed my own cast and later had to modify it due to military-related injury. I do not have full range of motion in my right shoulder. Due to that injury, it is unlikely I will have a flawless, Joan Wulff style cast, but my cast has improved and my ability to teach others has definitely improved.” 

...
By NCWRC blogger on 11/4/2014 7:01 AM


[Editor’s Note: In the Twitterverse, David Cook (‏@davidco71875026) recently tweeted, “@NCWildlife  — Wish there were more brook trout in upper Tellico River.” We checked with Fisheries Biologists Powell Wheeler and Jake Rash in WNC who replied with information not only about the trout in the upper Tellico, but also the land management work being done by the U.S. Forest Service, and the aquatic habitat in the Tellico that portends better trout fishing in the future.]

david cook ‏@davidco71875026 — “Wish there were more brook trout in upper Tellico River.” 9:50 AM - 2 Nov 2014

Response from Powell Wheeler and Jake Rash: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission does not stock the Tellico River because it contains wild trout. Also, because the Tellico River is on U.S. Forest Service property (Cherokee Co.), it “defaults” to Wild Trout...
By NCWRC blogger on 10/24/2014 9:14 AM
By Kacy Cook, Land Conservation Biologist



The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission would like to give a big shout-out of thanks to Surry County and the Surry County Natural Resources Committee for hosting one of our latest Green Growth Toolbox workshops.  Debbie Garris with the Natural Resources Committee organized a lunch from the Lunch Room Coffee House of Pilot Mountain that was locally grown and delicious!  The Natural Resources Committee organized the venue at the Elkin Center of Surry Community College and provided everyone with a honey pot of locally harvested honey.

The Green Growth Toolbox and our workshop provide information, conservation mapping data and case studies regarding how to integrate conservation of declining priority wildlife habitat and...
By NCWRC blogger on 10/21/2014 5:47 PM


Since its first appearance in 1981, the Wildlife in North Carolina State Fair button has become a collector’s item for thousands of people who visit the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s State Fair tent each year. 

 

The Eastern gray squirrel, with its furry tail and beady eyes, graced the first button; in the last 33 years, a variety of native animals — from birds to reptiles to mammals — have been featured on the button. 

 

History of the Wildlife in North Carolina Button

 

To help market the agency’s magazine, Wildlife in North Carolina, the Division of Conservation Education created the 1½-inch button as a giveaway item back in 1981. And while everyone thought it was an ingenious way to promote the magazine, no one expected the button to grow into the must-have item it has become today. Folks like B.L. Harris of Winterville come to the Commission’s tent each year just to get their button.

...
By NCWRC blogger on 10/10/2014 3:22 PM
Fish Catchmore ‏@Catch_more_fish  · Oct 8 

@NCWildlife does anyone know if Lake Norman has Coosa or "Bama" spotted bass? We know there is Kentucky spotted bass but rumor has both.

NC Wildlife ‏@NCWildlife  · Oct 8 

@Catch_more_fish We're forwarding your question to District Fisheries Biologist responsible for Norman & surrounding counties. Stay tuned!

By: Lawrence G. Dorsey, District 6 Fisheries Biologist

In the early years of the spotted bass introduction, the rumor circulated among anglers was that spotted bass in Lake Norman were stocked from reservoirs in Alabama that contained what at that time were classified as a subspecies of spotted bass called Alabama spotted bass. In recent years, these fish, which are endemic to Alabama, have been elevated to a separate species...
By NCWRC blogger on 9/30/2014 1:32 PM
By Dan Meadows

[Editor’s Note: Dan Meadows is a volunteer Hunter Education Program instructor in District 9 in western NC.] 

I had the opportunity to attend a great seminar last week at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, in Brevard (Transylvania Co.). The "Hunter Mentor Seminar," put on by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, was attended by Western North Carolina hunters who truly understand and value the need to focus their mentoring efforts toward North Carolina's new hunters.

I would like to thank Walter "Deet" James, Jr., who traveled from Raleigh to present this Hunter Mentor Seminar to those who were in attendance. Great job Deet!

Hunter mentors, both men and women alike, pass along their knowledge, skills and abilities that are needed for safe hunting...
By NCWRC blogger on 9/11/2014 9:54 AM
By Kacy Cook, Land Conservation Biologist, Division of Wildlife Management, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

Research and survey work conducted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission often relies on conservation partnerships to share resources, knowledge and staff. So, it should surprise no one that grant applications depend equally on conservation partnerships to succeed.

The Wildlife Commission needs to write many Thank You letters for the $1.1 million that we received earlier this week from the U.S. Department of Interior for conservation of red-cockaded woodpeckers and habitat in the Sandhills. But, first, we want to acknowledge our partners publicly.

...

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