Asheville – The NC WRC released the Regulation Digest for the 2021-2022 hunting, fishing and trapping seasons. You can view or download the digest online at ncwildlife.org/Licensing/Regulations. You can also order a copy of the regulations for home delivery at the same address. Of course, you can always pick up a copy at your local license agent who should have them in stock by now. Let’s look at some of the early season and bag limits.
Resident Goose season already opened on September 1st. This early waterfowl season has special regulations to manage the resident goose population. Along with a 15 bird daily limit, hunters can use electronic calls and unplugged shotguns. Normal licensing requirements apply as well as a Duck Stamp. The season runs through September 30th.
Dove season opened less than two weeks ago. This is the first of three periods in a split season that continues through January 31st. This first split continues through October 2nd with a 15 bird daily bag limit. Shooting starts 1/2 hour before sunrise until sunset.
Next up is the very popular archery deer season beginning this last Saturday, September 11th, and continuing through October 3rd. Deer hunters already have stands and trail cameras up in prep for that opening morning. Deer season then goes over to blackpowder from October 4 to October 16 then back to archery from October 17 through November 21st. Just as blackpowder season ends our first part of the mountain bear hunting season starts on October 18th and runs through November 20th.
All this talk about hunting reminds me that hunters need to attend hunter safety training before going out. Because of Covid the WRC has expanded its offerings to include both virtual and online courses as well as instructor led courses. Registration for all can be done at ncwildlife.org/Hunting/Before-The-Hunt/Hunter-Education-Courses.
We have several instructor led courses coming up in our local area. Our first one in Madison County will be Monday and Tuesday, Aug 30 – 31 at the Cooperative Extension Services office. The next will be September 1-2 at the French Broad Fire Department in Alexander. After that another will be offered at the Dana Fire Department in Hendersonville September 14-15. After that there’s one September 15-16 at Haywood Community College. All classes on both days are from 6 to 9 p.m.
Since Covid deer hunting has increased in popularity. Do you know someone interested in getting started? The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Federation will offer two free online hunting-related webinars this fall. “Introduction to Deer Hunting” will be held on Sept. 14, and “Practical Deer Processing: From Field to Freezer” will be held on Sept. 16. Both classes will run from 7 – 8 p.m. and are open to anyone interested, especially individuals who have never hunted, are new to hunting or lack social support for hunting.
“Both webinars are intended to prepare new and novice hunters for the upcoming whitetail deer season, which opens with bow hunting on September 11th,” said Walter “Deet” James, R3 hunting specialist at the Wildlife Commission. “It’s a fantastic educational opportunity for people who may not have access to an existing hunting community of family members and friends. Each session will be followed by a 30-minute question and answer session lead by wildlife education specialists.”
Topics at the “Introduction to Deer Hunting” webinar will include whitetail habits and habitats, scouting techniques, essential equipment, tree stand safety, effective shot placement, tracking techniques and field dressing.Topics at the “Practical Deer Processing: From Field to Freezer” webinar will include field dressing, skinning, safe meat handling and basic home processing. Pre-registration is required at ncwildlife.org/sbs. A recording of the presentation will be available to all registrants afterwards. For additional information, contact James at 984-202-1387.