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North Carolina hunting regulation changes approved

From the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

-- A number of hunting and trapping proposals were approved as presented March 3 by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. These include:

* Changes of particular interest to hunters approved as presented March 3 to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources commission include:

* Increase the December segment of the bear season in Hertford County from three days to 2 weeks using the same opening and closing dates as adjoining Gates and Bertie counties.

* Remove state tagging requirements for otter and bobcats when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service repeals federal tagging requirements for these species.

* Allow armadillos to be hunted all year and trapped during the regular furbearer trapping season.

* Open squirrel season on the Monday on or nearest to October 15 and close on the last day of February.

* Provide the same access privileges to Disabled Sportsmen Program participants (as defined in G.S. 113-296) as the commission does to Disabled Access Permit holders.

* Increase access for Disabled Sportsmen Program participants and Disabled Access Permit holders by allowing them to ride all-terrain vehicles on roads posted for vehicular travel, except those roads maintained by the Department of Transportation. Apply this increased access only to game lands designated as Disabled Access Permit game lands.

* Prohibit the use of dogs for hunting deer on Brunswick County Game Land.      

* Increase the either-sex deer season on Jordan Game Land from the current moderate season to the maximum season.

* Establish an Introductory either-sex deer season on Sandy Mush Game Land.

* Place the Morton Tract on White Oak Game Land under the same restrictions as the Huggins Tract: a restrictive firearms zone; access on Sloan Farm road by permit only; hunting by permit only; and no hunting for deer with dogs.

* Create Pond Mountain in Ashe County as a six day per week game land with a conservative either-sex season and horseback riding on designated trails May 16-Aug. 31.

* Create the Whitehall Plantation Game Land in Bladen County as a permit-only game land.

* Prohibit the release of domesticated or feral animals on game lands, except for hunting dogs and raptors where allowed. The game land rule already prohibits the release of pen-raised animals, wild animals or birds and hatchery-reared fish.

* Prohibit the release of all animals, including domesticated or feral animals, on wildlife conservation areas without prior written authorization of the Commission, except for hunting dogs and raptors where allowed.

* Prohibit the release and feeding of all animals, including domesticated or feral animals, on boating or fishing access areas without prior written authorization of the Commission, except for pets under the control of the owner, raptors and hunting dogs where otherwise permitted for hunting or training purposes.

* Require municipalities requesting a depredation permit for deer to fill out a form supplied by the Commission which will ask, among other questions, whether the municipality has participated in the Urban Archery Season and if not, why not.

The changes become effective August 1. For a complete list of regulations, visit http://www.ncwildlife.org/Regs/documents/PubHearBrochure.pdf . For more information on the rulemaking process, download “From Proposal to Regulation”  at http://www.ncwildlife.org/Regs/documents/PubHearBrochure.pdf

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