Mark your calendar for public hearings

CorrespondentDecember 18, 2013 

Deer hunting season runs through Jan. 1 in most of the state, and other bird and mammal seasons extend into January, February and March. But even as those 2013-14 seasons go on, the time is arriving to take a look at proposed changes in wildlife and fisheries management rules for 2014-15.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission annually conducts hearings so the public can learn more and comment on proposed changes to hunting, fishing and resource regulations. Nine meetings, one in each district, will be held Jan. 7-23.

Among the proposals for public comment will be bear hunting in a Piedmont Bear Management Unit season that would coincide with the gun season for deer. Wake County, along with Hoke, Moore, Richmond and Scotland, would be in the eastern deer season. Durham, Orange, Caswell, Person, Alamance, Granville and Lee would be among the counties in the central gun deer season.

Wake County does not have a breeding population of bears, and the hunting season would be a management tool to help prevent the problems that occur for bears when their searches for territory take them into urban areas and bring conflicts with people, said Greg Batts, the commission biologist for District 3, which includes Wake County.

“We would like to continue to have a transient population but not a breeding population,” Batts said. “We don’t want them breeding and the numbers going higher and higher and creating problems.”

The existing Harnett and Johnston seasons, along with Vance and Warren, would change to coincide with the eastern gun deer season.

Other proposals would allow daylight hunting of raccoons west of U.S. 1 and allow deer and bear hunting with any type of handgun and ammunition, with the exception of body-armor-piercing ammo.

The meetings will start at 7 p.m.:

• Jan. 7, District 4, Bladen County Community College, Dublin.

• Jan. 8, District 5, Alamance County Courthouse, Graham.

• Jan. 9, District 6, South Stanly High, Norwood.

• Jan. 14, District 9, Tri-County Community College, Murphy.

• Jan. 15, District 8, 1924 Courthouse, Newton.

• Jan. 16, District 7, Wilkes Community College, Wilkesboro.

• Jan. 21, District 1, Swain Auditorium, Edenton.

• Jan. 22, District 2, Craven County Courthouse, New Bern.

• Jan. 23, District 3, Nash Community College, Rocky Mount.

Feb. 14 is the deadline for comments.

For a copy of the proposals booklet and a Bear Proposals Supplement, or to submit comments, go to

Samples needed: Johnston County hunters are asked to donate the heads of deer for chronic wasting disease research. Bear teeth from any county also are needed for a study.

Gun show this weekend: The Capital City Gun Show will return to the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $10 for ages 12 and older.

Go to, call 540-953-0016 or email

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