Outdoors Notebook

Waterfowl seasons include youth days

CorrespondentSeptember 4, 2013 

Waterfowlers can mark their calendars for late-season hunting opportunities, including Youth Waterfowl Days.

Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 are the designated dates for ages 15 and younger to hunt with licensed adults, according to the seasons, bag limits and regulations that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced Friday.

For all seasons, shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, and possession limits are three times the daily bag unless noted. For details, consult the 2013-14 regulations digest or go to www.ncwildlife.org.

Dates and bag limits for waterfowl seasons starting after Sept. 30:

• Ducks: Oct. 2-5, Nov. 9-30, Dec. 14-Jan. 25; black and mottled duck seasons closed until Nov. 23; harlequin duck season closed; conventional bag, 6 ducks with no more than 4 scoters, 4 mallards with no more than 2 hen mallards, 3 wood ducks, 2 scaup, 2 redheads, 2 pintails, 2 canvasbacks, 1 black or mottled duck, or 1 fulvous whistling duck.

• Coots: Oct. 2-5, Nov. 9-30, Dec. 14-Jan. 25; 15 daily.

• Mergansers: Oct. 2-5, Nov. 9-30, Dec. 14-Jan. 25; 5 daily (2 hooded).

• Sea ducks (scoters, eiders, long-tailed ducks; special sea duck area only): Oct. 2-Jan. 31; 7 daily in sea duck area; other areas, sea ducks part of regular duck bag; no more than 4 scoters a day in any area.

• Dark geese (Canada, white-fronted): Resident Population Hunt Zone, Oct. 2-12, Nov. 9-30, Dec. 14-Feb. 8; Southern James Bay Hunt Zone, Oct. 2-30, Nov. 9-Dec. 31 (Gaddy Goose Refuge closed after Sept. 30); Northeast Hunt Zone, Jan. 10-25 (permit only); limit 5 in Resident Zone, 5 in Southern James Bay, 1 in Northeast; zone maps, www.ncwildlife.org/hunting.

• Light geese (snow, blue, Ross’): Oct. 16-19, Nov. 9-March 8; electronic calls and unplugged guns allowed Feb. 10-March 8; 25 daily, no possession limit.

• Brant: Dec. 23-Jan. 25; 2 daily.

• Tundra swan: Nov. 9-Jan. 31; 1 per season; 5,000 permits to be issued.

Permit hunts available: Hunters may apply for permit waterfowl hunts online at www.ncwildlife.org/permithunt, by phone at (888) 248-6834 weekdays or in person at a Wildlife Service Agent. The deadline for most hunts is Oct. 1.

The commission has added three blinds on the North River, J. Morgan Futch and Spring Creek impoundments.

Whitetails as a resource: Land managers who want to turn crop-damaging deer into an income-generating resource can learn how by attending a Farmers Manage Deer workshop conducted by the N.C. Wildlife Federation in collaboration with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Hunters and nonprofits feeding the needy with venison contributed through N.C. Hunters for the Hungry also will be interested in the workshop hosted by the Columbus County Cooperative Extension office at 7 p.m. Sept. 13.

If you can’t attend, join the discussion on a teleconference. The 7-8 p.m. sessions are being held Sept. 16 and Sept. 23. Call (209) 647-1000 and enter 745232#. Contact Guy and Judy Gardner of the Quality Deer Management Association at (919) 552-9449.

Send news and announcements, including tournaments and turkey shoots, to outdoors@newsobserver.com.

Boggess: boggess.teri@gmail.com

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