By Don Mallicoat- With hunting season ramping up, there are a lot of activities planned in September. The Commission and Quality Deer Management Association will hold the deer hunting seminars from 6 to 8:30 p.m., which are designed for new and experienced hunters. Topics will include deer biology, hunting methods and equipment, as well as field care of deer, processing and easy-to-follow recipes. A question-and-answer session, along with a brief overview of hunter R3 (recruitment, retention and re-activation) initiatives, will conclude each seminar. In our area the seminar will be Sept. 12 at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center,
45 Research Drive, Mills River, N.C. 28759.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Youth Deer Hunting Day returns for its second year on Saturday, Sept. 24. On this day, youth younger than 16 will be able to use all legal weapons to hunt deer of either sex on both private lands and public game lands. Any youth that have successfully completed and passed a hunter education course will not be required to be accompanied by an adult.
“Last year’s Youth Deer Hunting Day was a great step in introducing our young people to the hunting tradition in North Carolina,” said Dell Murphy, chairman of the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council. “This year, we hope to see an increase in participation. Hunters and fisherman are our greatest conservationists, so it’s important to get young people into the outdoors.”
Licensed adults and hunters age 16 or older may hunt with or without a youth on Sept. 24, but will be restricted to the legal weapon for the open season in that area. During the remainder of hunting seasons, youth younger than 16 are required to use the legal weapon for the open season in the area where they are hunting. Blaze orange must be worn by all hunters, regardless of the weapon used. The use of dogs for deer hunting is allowed during Youth Deer Hunting Day in areas where it is lawful.
Any deer harvest must be recorded, before the animal is removed from the site of the kill, on a big game harvest report card. These can be acquired from any Wildlife Service Agent or by calling 888-248-6834. Youth Deer Hunting Day will coincide with National Hunting and Fishing Day, held annually on the fourth Saturday in September.
Speaking of that, the WRC has activities planned for National Hunting and Fishing Day. In our area activities will be at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in Pisgah Forest starting at 10 a.m. There will be hands-on, interactive exhibits and demonstrations include fishing, outdoor cooking, and more. Inside the Center, an award-winning documentary on natural history and wildlife diversity of the mountains is shown throughout the day. Exhibits include five aquatic habitats with live fish, frogs, salamanders and snakes. Other exhibits include: Huntmaster blind, Fly casting, Federation of Fly Fishers exhibit, N.C. Trappers Association exhibit, Fly tying, Trout Unlimited Exhibit, Outdoor Cooking, Wild game taste sampling, and Backyard bass activity. Contact for information is Lee Sherrill, 828.877-4423.
I made it out for the opening day of Resident Canada goose season. Scouting the corn fields where I have permission to hunt showed the geese arriving about 7:30 a.m. and there was one particular section of the field they seemed to prefer. We have a plan. But as we said in the Army, the opponent always has a say in how the plan is executed. I was there early, sat up my decoy spread in a moderate fog, had my layout blind to one side and waited for action. The place was loaded with goose scat and feathers. About 7:50 the honking of geese broke through the fog. My comeback call on the FoxPro electronic call had them circling twice. Just to land in a hay field about 100 yards away. Alright, challenge accepted. Game on!
As I write this we are two days from the dove opener and prospects don’t look that good. A cold front moving in and a hurricane coming up the coast appear to be impacting dove movement in the local area. Suddenly birds aren’t as prevalent as they were a week ago. We’ll report next week on our success, or lack thereof, shooting both down east and at Sandy Mush Game Land.
Don Mallicoat owns Wings & Clays Guns and Gear in Asheville and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.633.1806