N. C. Wildlife Update - 08/15/2011

Lifetime License Holders Need Annual Privilege Licenses to Hunt

With hunting seasons opening in September, lifetime license holders need to ensure they have the annual privilege licenses that allow them to hunt big game and migratory game birds.

Lifetime license holders who have a license that entitles them to hunt big game and migratory game birds can request their big game harvest report card, HIP certification and regulations digest by:

Permit Applications for Waterfowl Hunts Available Sept. 1

As of Sept. 1, sportsmen can apply for permit waterfowl hunts by visiting a Wildlife Service Agent or by calling 888-248-6834, Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Application deadline for the majority of waterfowl permit hunts is Oct. 1.

Save Time – Go Online

Spend more time in the field or on the water this season by going online to:

Dove Season Begins Sept. 3

The first segment for mourning and white-winged doves begins at noon on Sept. 3 and ends at sunset on Oct. 8. Some reciprocal license fees for neighboring states (Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia) have changed. See page 6 of the 2011-12 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest for more information.

Remember that it is an individual hunter’s responsibility to know the legal status of the area being hunted. Don’t hunt over baited fields. Prior to hunting, take time to “walk the field” and inspect the area. Be safe – never shoot at low-flying birds – and know your field of fire. Enjoy the outdoors and have a great season.

Wild Boar No Longer Big Game as of Oct. 1

The wild boar classification applied to hogs in the wild in the six most western counties of the state is changing. Effective Oct. 1, 2011, all hogs in the wild will be classified and managed as feral swine. While hunting feral swine, hunters must have a valid hunting license and wear hunter orange. Refer to page 56 of the 2011-12 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest for more information.

Tree Stand Safety

The Home From The Hunt safety campaign is reminding hunters to be cautious when setting up tree stands prior to deer season. If you are scouting a location, trimming shooting lanes and putting up your tree stand, even on a trial basis, use the same precautions you would during hunting season. As with any piece of equipment, tree stands need inspection before use. For more information, see our news release.

Float Plans Important

Before taking a late summer boating trip, inspect your vessel for ‘ship-shape’ operation. Make sure you have all of the required safety equipment and that it’s in good condition. It’s always a good idea to make a float plan, which provides important information should a problem occur. A form is available on our website for completing and leaving with a reliable person who can be depended upon to notify authorities should you not return as scheduled.

Halls Creek Boating Access Area Renovated

If you’re interested in boating or fishing the Little River, check out the newly renovated Halls Creek Boating Access Area. The site, in Pasquotank County, has a new ramp and fixed docks, and ADA accessible parking. The canal was dredged to facilitate better access to the boat ramp. Engineering Services staff also added a new universally-accessible wooden boardwalk and a 10-by-20 foot fixed fishing pier. For more information, read the news release.

Adopt a Boating Access Area

Want to help keep boat ramps free of trash? The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is partnering with the North Carolina Public Access Foundation (NCPAF) on a program that encourages groups, businesses, organizations and individuals to “adopt” Boating Access Areas to keep them clean and litter free. Here is how you can help.

New Inland Fishing Rules for Sea Trout, Flounder, Red Drum and Gray Trout Now In Effect

As of Aug. 1, new regulations are in effect that standardize seasons and size and creel limits for sea trout (spotted or speckled), flounder, gray trout (weakfish) and red drum taken in inland waters with the recreational limits for those species in adjacent joint or coastal fishing waters. Regulations were implemented to provide consistency for managing these four saltwater fish species and should minimize confusion for anglers fishing in different jurisdictional waters. For the most up-to-date limits in effect for all saltwater species, consult the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ 2011 NC Recreational Coastal Waters Guide for Sports Fishermen. For more information on fishing in coastal waters, visit the Division of Marine Fisheries website.

Tips for Catch-and-Release Anglers to Keep Largemouth Bass Alive

Higher water temperature and lower dissolved oxygen levels in reservoirs and rivers during the summer can be especially deadly for that largemouth bass on the end of your line. Find out how to keep your fish alive to see another lure by following a few simple tips found in the B.A.S.S.-produced publication, “Keeping Bass Alive: A Guidebook for Tournament Bass Anglers and Organizers.”

Photo Competition Deadline – Sept. 1

The deadline for entries to the seventh annual Wildlife in North Carolina magazine photo competition is Sept. 1. Photos will be judged in 8 categories, with youth divisions for 12 and younger, as well as 13 to 17 year olds. All winners will be published in the January/February 2012 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina and exhibited at the Museum of Natural Sciences and at other science museums and wildlife education centers across the state. For more information, see “2011 Photo Competition” on our website.

2011 Mountain State Fair – Sept. 9-18

The North Carolina Mountain State Fair is Sept. 9 -18 at the WNC Agricultural Center and the Wildlife Resources Commission will be there. This year’s kid-friendly exhibit is built around the theme “Wildlife Science for a Better Future.” Displays include a farm pond for fishing, a lasershot shooting simulator, a mobile aquarium filled with aquatic life and the popular, hands-on “Sensory Safari” with pelts, taxidermy specimens and animal bones. Commission biologists, educators and law enforcement officers will be on hand to answer questions. The fairgrounds are located at 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher.

Fishing Basics for Women – Sept. 11

The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is offering women fishing basics on Sept. 11 at Bass Pro Shop’s pond, in Concord from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Participants can learn about fishing knots, equipment, pond and lake ecology, types of baits and lures, and experience the fun of fishing. Pre-registration and a $25 entry fee are required. For more information, see our news release.

Celebrate North Carolina’s Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Wildlife Diversity – Sept. 24

On Sept. 24, the Wildlife Resources Commission is hosting family oriented events at four education centers and one state fish hatchery in celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The events provide opportunities to connect with nature, test outdoor skills and learn about wildlife conservation through interactive exhibits and demonstrations. Check out an event closest to you.

New Website Launching Fall 2011

The Commission’s website will have a new look soon. Reorganized content, streamlined navigation and improved menus – coming this fall to www.ncwildlife.org.