Not quite a radar (((NC))) but an opportunity.
It would seem that extending the archery season a few weeks and adding the crossbow to it would get the results they need. Instead they want to extend the gun season.State's hunters may see changes
Mike Zlotnicki, Staff WriterComment on this story
RALEIGH - Tar Heel hunters may be able to hunt longer, with more types of weapons -- and in some cases -- on Sundays if several proposals announced at Wednesday's wildlife commissioners meeting are approved.
The sweeping changes in regulations -- particularly for deer hunting -- would affect hundreds of thousands of hunters in the state.
David W. Hoyle Jr., chairman of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's Big Game Committee, announced several proposals during the meeting at the commission's headquarters on N.C. State's Centennial Campus.
Among the proposals:
* Create a single deer season for the state. Now, there are four main regional seasons. The new season would be the same as the current Eastern Deer Season, which this year runs Sept. 13 to Jan. 1.
* Allow bow hunting and falconry on Sundays on private land.
* Allow hunters to choose any weapon (bow, muzzleloader or center-fire rifle) from the start of the hunting season when on private land.
* Move the opening of turkey season to the first Saturday of April statewide, which would extend the season by about a week.
* Ask the legislature for the authority to regulate deer hunting with dogs, and possibly fine dog owners when hounds trespass on private land.
* Allow the hunting of coyotes at night with the use of artificial lights.
Hoyle, who is from Dallas, N.C., said the issues were part of the public input process used to consider rule changes. Seven meetings are held each year, usually in Raleigh, but also in Corolla and Pisgah Forest. The proposals will be made final in committees and presented at public hearings throughout the state. The commissioners will vote to accept or reject the proposals in the spring. The earliest any changes could take effect is July 1, 2009, Hoyle said.
The deer-season changes are based on two factors: deer population and hunter retention.
"Sunday hunting is a tool to put more people in the field," Hoyle said. "If we want to sell more licenses, we have to offer them more opportunity."
Commission chairman Wes Seegars of Goldsboro also cited car accidents and farming issues.
"All of this [deer regulation proposals] is an attempt at two things: one, hunter retention, and two, to bring the deer population down," Seegars said. "From the insurance agency, we know that we've got more car/deer strikes [collisions], and also some of the farming organizations have asked us to look at a way to bring down the deer population."
Most of the proposals sound good to Chad Morgan. When the 39-year-old Raleigh resident isn't working as branch manager for a wire cable distributor, he can be found hunting or fishing.
"If it's got fur or feathers, I'll chase it," he said.
One proposal Morgan disagrees with is the elimination of separate weapon seasons for deer hunting.
"I think we still need to have distinction between seasons," he said. "From a deer-hunting perspective, that would be too much pressure [on deer]. It would inhibit your chance to harvest a trophy buck with a bow."
Morgan said he favors the Sunday hunting proposal.
"Part of it is selfish," he said. "It would give me an extra day in the woods with my daughter. Saturdays are filled up with soccer and other stuff."
All proposals will be open for public input after committees make recommendations about which proposals to take to the annual public hearings. The public can also comment now at [email protected].
The commission did vote to make a changes in dove hunting regulations. The daily bag limit would be 15 (up from 12), and only on opening day would shooting start at noon. The rest of the opening week, shooting would be allowed a half-hour before sunrise.
The 18 members of the wildlife commission are political appointees who help to create and maintain laws and regulations governing hunting, fishing and boating activities in the state.