Segments of North Carolina’s waterfowl seasons resume Saturday as the run of duck-worthy weather gives way to a few dry days and cooling nights.
Mild weather allows hunters and birding enthusiasts to do catch up on maintenance of wood duck next boxes, and a renowned wood duck expert advises against waiting.
“Spring is a little late. If they put up boxes in the winter, things are frozen. The weather in fall is a lot better,” Dr. Eugene Hester of Wendell said last month, days after being inducted into the Conservation Hall of Fame during Governor’s Conservation Awards banquet hosted by the N.C. Wildlife Federation in September.
The perching ducks like boxes and tree cavities in semi-wooded ponds and streams, along with forested wetlands and impoundments. They’re less common in the Piedmont in winter, but will be found along the Coastal Plain.
People who haven’t already cleaned out duck boxes should be alert for wasps. Boxes may need repairs to keep away predators. Wood shavings on the bottom cushion eggs.
“Wood ducks start nesting in February, a lot earlier than you might think,” Hester said.
The birds like smaller acorns, areas with water oaks and willow oaks are good for hunting.
A conventional bag of six ducks can include up to three wood ducks. The season for dark geese, including Canada and white-fronted, also resumes in some areas Saturday. Find seasons and limits at www.ncwildlife.org/hunting.
Bass: Mark Herndon of Bahama and Jay Garrard of Durham slipped past 24 other teams on a 70-degree day for a $4,485 payday in the Cashion Fishing Rods End of Year Team Tournament Bass Fishing Trail Championship at Kerr Lake on Nov. 7.
Their five bass weighed 13.88 pounds to win $1,935 and two Cashion custom rods, organizer Phil McCarson reported. The season points championship added $975 and two more rods.
Derek Bowden and Matthew Little, both of Louisburg, were second with five bass at 13.31 to win $800 as runners-up and $1,375 total.
The next event, the PBC Rowdy Time Lures Ice Buster Open, will be held Feb. 27 out of Cross Point landing on Shearon Harris Lake.
Saltwater: Southern flounder, a topic postponed from August, will be in the spotlight when the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission meets Wednesday to Friday at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head to select and approve management measures for Supplement A to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 1. Public comment starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. next Thursday. A briefing book is at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-meetings.
Youth hunt: A deer hunt for ages 12-16 will be held Dec. 12 at Weyerhaeuser-Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern. Permits cost $5. Orientation is Dec. 5. Go to www.ncwildlife.org.
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