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 (3388)/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 (7489)/Comments (0)/

Prescribed Burns Benefit Wildlife

Prescribed Burns Benefit Wildlife

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s fire, at least on a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission game land, there’s usually a prescribed burn — one of the best and most cost-effective methods of managing habitat for wildlife. A prescribed burn, or an intentional burning of vegetation under strict and specific circumstances, helps restore and maintain wildlife habitat. It is a cost-effective tool that Commission staff uses to create and maintain suitable and ample wildlife habitat in old fields, native grasslands and open-canopy woodlands on game lands throughout the state. The most common prescribed burns Commission staff conducts are restoration burns and maintenance burns. Restoration burns, as their name implies, are done on fire-dependent habitats that haven’t been burned in years. These habitats include longleaf, shortleaf, pond, table mountain and pitch pine forests, hardwood glades and savannahs, prairies, and...
Monday, March 9, 2015/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (11563)/Comments (2)/

The Legendary Cat of the Mountains and the Swamps is Just That, a Legend

The Legendary Cat of the Mountains and the Swamps is Just That, a Legend

Written by: Brad Howard Have you seen this picture in an email or on Facebook lately?  We have! This photo has been passed around to numerous folks over the last month with claims that it has been taken in various locations across North Carolina.  More recently, some attention was given to a few reports of “a black panther” in Stokes County. There were no photographs or other verifiable evidence to support those reports. While very rare, jaguars, leopards, the jaguarundi and even bobcats can have black coats but there has never been a documented occurrence of a melanistic phase (black) cougar in North America. So, any report of a “black panther” or a “large black cat” is most likely mistaken identity since only the above-mentioned cats have a black phase and only one of those cats is native, the bobcat. The black phase in bobcats is extraordinarily rare. Determining if it were a bobcat would not be that hard. While...
Thursday, October 31, 2013/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (23788)/Comments (0)/

Get Your Eagle Eyes Ready

Get Your Eagle Eyes Ready

Bald eagle watching is exciting any time of the year, but if you need some motivation to watch these majestic birds, we have it. January is National Bald Eagle Watch Month across the country. North Carolina is now agood place to watch bald eagles, thanks to restoration projects begun in the early 1980s. The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, through the North Carolina income tax check-off, helped fund the Wildlife Resources Commission’s first nongame wildlife biologist. One of the first conservation projects undertaken by the nongame wildlife biologist was restoring bald eagles at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in 1983. Before 1982, North Carolina had no breeding pairs of bald eagles. Because of the eagle restoration work, and the expansion of eagle populations in neighboring states, North Carolina now has more than 125 nesting pairs. Where to Look The Commission offers eagle viewing opportunities at its wildlife observation platform at Jordan Lake,...
Friday, January 18, 2013/Author: NCWRC blogger/Number of views (4617)/Comments (0)/

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