I'm sure many of our readers have been waiting for something like this. I know coming from NY I was use to hunting Coyotes at night but was not allowed to do the same in North Carolina. However, that is about to change this year. North Carolina has decided to allow hunting of Feral Swine and Coyotes at night on private land only. This is a step in the right direction and gives many of us additional opportunities to hunt these animals. The news story can be found here.
Nature can be cruel and it is indeed a dog-eat-dog world out in the wilds. Unfortunately for Barred Owls now, the function known as survival of the fittest is about to not be left up to their species but instead to the US Government. In the hunting regulated society we have grown up in (which is a good thing considering how things used to be) it has been drilled into our heads that birds of prey are not to be messed with, toting jail time and big fines if you happen to shoot one. Leave it to government officials to take it upon themselves to do away with this stipulation when it comes to trying to bring back the Spotted Owl.
Their proposal as touched on here in Outdoor Life has a component in it to selectively harvest Barred Owls because of the impact they have on Spotted Owls. I know it may seem hypocritical to be upset about the above proposal while yelling at the top of my lungs that hunters need to be utilized as a natural predator in the control of wildlife populations as well as pat ourselves on the back for the role we play in bringing back populations from the brink with sound wildlife management and the monies from us used to support such management plans. And I know that controlling predator populations is also needed in order to insure a proper balance in the predator-prey ratio. The difference in this, in my opinion, is that we are talking about two predators who directly compete for food and resources, using the same, solitary hunting style while utilizing the same habitat. Is hunting one to save the other needed in this situation or would helping to identify and protect as much suitable habitat be the bigger help? I tend to lean towards the latter as you'll always have that competition between species even with a decrease in the larger population. And whose to say that selective hunting of the Barred Owl doesn't put us right back in this situation years down the road, with the Spotted Owl population needing to be reduced to help the Barred Owl.
This is a flawed policy proposal in my opinion as we should control what we directly can, i.e. habitat conservation, to save the Spotted Owl instead of relying on the removal of another native, competing species. Agree? Disagree? Have another idea on helping the Spotted Owl regain population? Let it all come out by leaving a comment!
This is going to be a (hopefully) quick hitting post that all hunters can empathize with and it deals with the news media. I just got done sending out an email to a local news anchor concerning a story she posted today regarding coyote hunting in North Carolina. Now I want you all to check out that link and give it a read, especially you North Carolinians, and tell me what you see wrong with it. If the title isn't obvious that no research was done (or was disregarded to provide a more "controversial" headline) then I don't know what is. The fact is that coyote hunting is already allowed in North Carolina. It's as plain as black and white in the regulations digest, unless reading comprehension is not your strong point. The other big issue with this news story is that either a state wildlife employee was misquoted or they have no clue of the regulations in our state, both of which are cause for dismissal in my opinion for either the news anchor if the reason is the former and/or the wildlife employee if the latter. Now-a-days bloggers are bemoaned by the mainstream media for not being held accountable for the news they break or the information they provide, which is a direct slap in the face to me when I see simple fact checking not done on a regional news story. I hope the anchor takes my email to heart as she reads the corrections to the mistakes in her story I pointed out and makes the necessary revisions. I commend her for bringing our growing predator issue to light but she needs to be more clear in what she is saying; I hope her mistakes don't come from being biased and not getting the whole truth to the non-hunting public on purpose. As hunters we fight an uphill battle in the court of public opinion and when the facts are not accurately reported it makes that battle even harder.
Just a quick hitting entry on something I just learned today. Any big-time bass fisherman right now (and I would bet a large sum of money that you old-timers knew about this long before 2012) has to have heard about the Alabama Rig and the magic it is working when you can find where the bait fish are. Well as you might have read on other blogs and news stories, B.A.S.S. has now effectively banned the use of this rig in all of its Bassmaster Elite competitions (and only the Elite Series) via a "one-lure" rule. To read more about it, check out the Bassmaster website. So what do you think, is this the right thing to do from a sportsmanship standpoint?
So the new regulation in NC that allows anyone to buy and hunt with a crossbow during all open deer seasons has really sparked my interest! However, since this is fairly new to the NC area I'm having a hard time finding good reviews on crossbows. Still, I'm really considering the idea of picking one up during the off-season and using it next year! With that being said, does anyone have any suggestions? From what I've read I'm leaning towards TenPoint as they seem to have quite a line-up of cross bows, with a varied price range from $600 all the way to $2K!
Do any of you use a crossbow? If so, can you share your experiences with us? We'd love to hear about them and get some advice from our readers!
Thanks for the input!!!
With muzzleloader season opening Saturday morning in the Eastern-season section for deer, I figured I would take the time to post up the remaining opening dates for each section.
Eastern Deer Season
Muzzleloader - Oct. 1 to Oct. 14
Gun - Oct. 15 to Jan. 2
Central Deer Season
Muzzleloader - Oct. 29 to Nov. 11
Gun - Nov. 12 to Jan. 2
Northwestern Deer Season
Muzzleloader - Nov. 5 to Nov. 18
Gun - Nov. 19 to Jan. 2
Western Deer Season
Muzzleloader - Oct. 3 to Oct. 15
Bow and Arrow - Oct. 17 to Nov. 19
Gun - Nov. 21 to Dec. 10
Here at Inside Out Outdoors we keep a close eye on the always changing hunting regulations, mostly in NC for now. With that being said, I have reviewed the latest publication of the NC Wildlife regulations here. A great feature of the publication is that all of the changes from the previou year are written in red text to make them stand out! One of the regulations that caught my eye was the following:
"If a hunter kills or wounds a big game animal during legal shooting
hours the hunter may use a portable light source and a single dog
on a leash to assist the hunter in retrieving the dead or wounded
big game animal and may dispatch a wounded big game animal
using a .22-caliber rimfire pistol, archery equipment, or a handgun
otherwise legal for that hunting season. If necessary, the hunter
may also retrieve wounded big game in this manner from 30 minutes
after sunset to 11:00 p.m. The hunter may not use a motorized
vehicle when searching for the wounded animal"
I'm happy to see that NC has allowed the use of dogs to find wounded game! More and more states are allowing this type of retrieval method. In summary, a hunter who kills or wounds a big game animal during legal shooting hours can use a portable light source such as a spot light, lantern, etc, in combination with ONE dog on a leash to help find the animal. Not only can you do this during daylight hours but you can also track in this fashion until 11:00pm. This gives the hunter a chance to find their game that they have shot close to dark! If the animal is still alive once found it may be killed using a .22-caliber rimfire pistol, archery equipment or a hand gun that is legal for that hunting season. If we are talking about deer season, this handgun must fulfill the following requirement as documented on page 42 of the hunting regulations:
"Deer, bear and wild boar may be taken with a handgun during the
established gun hunting season provided that the handgun is not
less than .24-caliber. Muzzleloading pistols are not legal for hunting."
Also remember that handguns cannot be carried during the Archery season except for big game retrieval!
Please give the latest edition of the regulations a read before you head to the field this year to make sure you know all of the latest regulation changes and additions! I'm really happy about this new addition to the regulations as it should hopefully help hunters find their game without having to wait until morning to finish tracking. This should also help decrease the number of deer that are lost and/or spoil due to the NC heat during the early season. If you have any questions please let us know and we can contact the Wildlife commission and get clarification. Remember, if you just want to give the regs a quick glance to see if anything is different, look for the red text as that indicates changes from the previous year.
Just wanted to share something I've been meaning to for a few weeks now. In this internet age, a lot of us have come to like how easy it is to buy licenses, obtain maps and information and apply for draw hunts. While many states have been doing this for years now, NC has finally allowed you to apply for permit hunts online. If you are like me and know more about the NCWRC's computer system than the person working it at your local sporting goods store, then this is a time saver and way less stressful. So head on over to the NCWRC's home page and click on the button on the side that says "Permit Hunt Opportunities Apply Online". Hopefully I'll see you out there this season!
As promised, we want to keep you up to date with local wildlife news, specifically here in North Carolina. Recently the North Carolina Wildlife Commission approved for review about 55 changes to the current wildlife regulations. What does this mean? Well, in short, there are public hearings held throughout the different districts of the state, sometimes specifically in the areas where the proposals are for (if only for a particular county). A list of the hearings can be found here.
A document listing all of the proposed laws can be found here. What follows is an excerpt from one of the news updates:
"House Bill 432, which was passed by the General Assembly in June, removes this practice from G.S. § 113-291.1 and gives authority to the Commission to regulate electronic calls for all game animals and birds. The law goes into effect October 1. In order for hunters to continue using electronic calls for crows and coyotes after September 30, the Commission must pass temporary and permanent rules to maintain the status quo. If approved, the temporary rules will go into effect on October 1 and would likely be replaced by permanent rules on January 1, 2012. The Commission’s public hearing schedule appears below.
House Bill 432 also changes the status of feral swine to wild animals and deletes the term “wild boar.” All wild animals must have a season set by Commission rules to make hunting that species legal. The Commission is proposing a temporary rule which declares feral swine (hogs) as a species with no closed season and no bag limits. This temporary rule would also go into effect October 1. An identical permanent rule is proposed to go into effect January 1, 2012.
Please note that as of October 1, all persons shooting feral swine (hogs) must have a hunting license or a depredation permit, except for people who are otherwise license-exempt."
Public Hearing for Proposed Temporary Rules for Crows, Coyotes and Feral Swine (Hogs)
Centennial Campus for Wildlife Education
1751 Varsity Dr.
Raleigh, N.C. 27606
Also, season dates have been decided on for dove and other webless migratory game birds, as well as September seasons for teal and Canada geese. The season dates can be found here. I'm excited and can't wait to get out and do some waterfowl hunting this year!!!!
Have questions about the above? Let us know and we can try to contact the commissioners for more information as well as pass along any specific questions.
I just saw some current news on the NCWRC Home Page and wanted to share this with all of you out there. The Landowner Protection Act is a new NC state amendment that gives landowners more rights in regards to trespassing and posting their land for hunting, trapping and fishing. The Act specifies how to mark the land so I won't go into detail about it, but will share some things to remember if you wish to hunt the land of another that has been posted.
- Ensure to carry written permission with you that is current within the last 12 months of the date that you are on the land. A permission form can be found here.
- This act does not supersede traditional trespassing laws! This land is still private land and you will need permission to be on there.
- Wildlife officers can now enforce trespassing laws rather than depending on the courts.
- You will not need permission slips from the NCWRC in order to hunt the various public lands across the states, just remember to have your gameland license and you will be good to go!
There is also a new marking system that gives landowners a clear way (purple paint) to mark all or portions of their land for hunting, etc and give outdoors men and women the ability to use this land and easily know the boundaries of the land they have permission to use. In other words this is a new way of marking "posted" land in the state of NC.
So if you start to see purple paint popping up in the private land that you have permission to hunt, you now know why! Since paint is harder to vandalize, it will make it easier for landowners to maintain than the "posted signs" that are common today.
Check out some of the FAQs if you have any questions.
Has anyone already started marking their land?
Sometimes the great ideas that we have just need something to bring them to the forefront. The Inside Out team will be putting our talents to work and sharing our knowledge and love of the outdoors with anyone who wants to listen.
Curran's Outdoor Adventures
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Hunt Like Your Hungry
inFOCUS (Campbell Cameras)
inMotion (Heartland Bowhunter)
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Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
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The Will to Hunt
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