North Carolina WRC Discussed Deer/Turkey Seasons

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Committee reports were just a part of the agenda at the July 9 meeting of wildlife commissioners of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, but one of those reports has dominated subsequent discussions.

No action was taken following a report from the Big Game Committee, but the ideas presented have sparked comments and questions by sportsmen across the state.

Among the ideas the committee discussed were:

  • * a uniform deer season across the state that allows hunters to hunt with a legal weapon of choice on private properties while maintaining traditional muzzleloader and bowhunting seasons on game lands;
  • * opening wild turkey season a week earlier but not extending the season;
  • * allowing Sunday bowhunting and falconry.

Also discussed were possible legislative solutions for maintaining and protecting hunting with hounds for deer and bear, while protecting rights of private property owners.

While the wildlife commission sets regulations for hunting, trapping and inland fishing, only the General Assembly can legislate changes to laws, such as hunting coyotes at night with lights, which was also discussed by the committee.

Staff findings are submitted in October for approval by wildlife commissioners, and then presented to the public for comment. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has nine jurisdictional districts across the state, and holds annual public hearings on hunting, trapping, fishing and conservation concerns in January in each district. Before any changes are made to regulations, proposals are subject to public comment, online, in writing and at the public hearings.

The 19 wildlife commissioners are appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the State House and the President Pro-tem of the State Senate and serve until reappointed or replaced. The next regular meeting of the wildlife commissioners is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the agency headquarters, located at 1751 Varsity Drive, Raleigh.