A Tale of Two Blue Catfish State Records - In His Own Words

A Tale of Two Blue Catfish State Records - In His Own Words

If you love to fish or simply keep up with fishing-related news stories, then you’ve likely heard about Zakk Royce. Zakk is the Murfreesboro angler who caught not one but two state record blue catfishes in a 24-hour period in December in Lake Gaston.  The first fish Zakk caught weighed 91 pounds; the second 105 pounds. Incredibly, he released both fish alive so that other anglers, perhaps Zakk himself, could experience the opportunity of reeling in a monster fish. While various news media reported the amazing feat, we have the story in Zakk’s own words below. Also, check out this cool video of the catches here, courtesy of Zakk and his father, Jon Royce. “I started out Sunday morning catching fish up to 30 pounds as soon as I started fishing. About an hour or two into fishing that morning suddenly my rod off the port side of my boat bent completely over. I grabbed the fishing rod and knew it was biggest fish immediately. 20 minutes or...
Thursday, January 21, 2016/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (4763)/Comments (0)/

What's Scarier than Bats at Halloween? A World Without Bats!

What's Scarier than Bats at Halloween? A World Without Bats!

What’s scarier than bats at Halloween? A world without bats, that’s what. While bats may get a bad rap, they are hugely important in the ecosystem, playing key roles in keeping us healthy and well fed. Consider this:  Bats eat tons of insects, like mosquitoes that can carry diseases that make us sick. A nursing female bat may consume almost her entire body weight in insects in one night.  Bats are important pollinators and seed spreaders, both of which aid in plant reproduction and forest regrowth. But bats are in trouble. BIG trouble because of a deadly disease known as white-nose syndrome. It has killed millions of bats in the eastern United States, including bats in western North Carolina. Some bat hibernacula — caves and mines — in western North Carolina have seen dramatic population declines although these declines associated with the deadly disease appear to be leveling off in some areas. White-nose syndrome, a...
Friday, October 30, 2015/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (5565)/Comments (0)/

The Birds Are Back in Town – Hummingbirds, that is . . .

The Birds Are Back in Town – Hummingbirds, that is . . .

Those fast-flying, tiny jewels of the sky are back. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are now showing up at feeders around the state, having spent the long, cold winter in Mexico and Central America. At one time, they could be found in North Carolina only in the spring through fall; however, with the rise of backyard feeders, many hummingbirds decide to stay throughout the winter, mainly along the coast. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird species that nests in the eastern part of North America. These hummingbirds prefer to breed and nest in deciduous forests, mixed woodlands and sometimes pine forests, and can often be found nesting in wooded residential areas. They typically build small nests of lichens and spider webs that are small in comparison to other birds’ nests — approximately 1 to 2 inches high and 1½ inches wide. They build their nests on tree limbs that can range from 1 to 60 feet off the ground. Anyone who has ever set up a...
Friday, April 17, 2015/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (5889)/Comments (0)/

A Father and Son Turkey-Hunting Experience

A Father and Son Turkey-Hunting Experience

Here’s a photo of my 12-year-old son Cody and his first turkey.  Cody and I went turkey hunting in Nash County on opening day of Youth-Only Turkey Season last Saturday (April 4) just outside of Nashville, N.C. We were hunting on a 300-acre farm we leased through Hunt NC Farmland Program of the NCDA&CS. I scouted the property a few days earlier for turkeys just before season opened and with the owner’s information and help, I learned the loose patterns of the turkeys wanderings on the farm. Cody and I made a plan for opening morning and I patterned his gun a few days before. On opening morning, we gathered our gear — tent-style blind, two turkey decoys, two chairs, snacks, water, calls, shotgun, etc. Then, we walked in with all of this on our backs through the pastures to the spot we wanted to hunt. But, we saw it was full of cows that morning, so we changed plans and started to another spot further down the pastures. The cows then decided to get up...
Friday, April 10, 2015/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (3596)/Comments (0)/

Why Not Open Wild Turkey Season Earlier?

Why Not Open Wild Turkey Season Earlier?

Each year, hunters hear turkeys gobbling prior to the opening of the spring gobbler season and express interest in opening the season earlier. As a result, managers are often pressured to set earlier opening dates for spring gobbler seasons. But, according to Kennamer’s research published in 2006, “the consequences of early hunting seasons may create scenarios that harm turkeys and turkey hunting more than hunters realize.” The whole premise of a spring gobbler season — of it being biologically sound to hunt gobblers in the spring — is based upon harvesting birds after breeding has occurred. Gobblers play no part in nesting or brood rearing. Their role is breeding. After breeding, they are not vital to the incubation and brood-rearing phases of reproduction and many can be harvested without negatively impacting the population. The onset of nesting is widely cited as an important, biologically based criterion for setting opening dates for spring...
Thursday, April 2, 2015/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (8177)/Comments (0)/

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