AshevilleDon MallicoatHendersonvilleNews Stories

Hunt Safely


By Don Mallicoat- Deer season started on September 10th with archery and with a two week break for muzzleloader, more archery, and then gun season in November looks like deer season will be full bore until December. I’m hearing of moderate success out there. Most hunters attribute lack of deer movement to the heat and full moon phase. It seems like every year during this time, we have reports of accidents. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recommends some safety guidelines for hunters using archery equipment, including crossbows. Hunters should always point their crossbow, longbow, or compound bow in a safe direction, and only release an arrow after positively identifying a target and anything beyond that target. Hunters also should always identify a target using binoculars (not a scope) and use a flashlight when changing locations during low-light conditions.

Through its Home From The Hunt™ campaign, the Commission offers tips year-round reminding hunters to take precaution to ensure a safe and successful day in the field. Other archery-hunting tips from the Home From The Hunt™ campaign are: Never carry a bow with a nocked arrow; Never “dry-fire” a bow (releasing without an arrow can cause sudden breakage); Load a crossbow only when in a fixed hunting position; Keep fingers and thumb below the rail of a crossbow at all times. Let’s stay safe out there.

Currently, we have three hunting seasons open. The first split of the dove season continues through October 8th. After a disappointing opener hopefully we’ll have some migratory dove come through. Sandy Mush GL is no longer by permit so hunters can go by the regular schedule. Resident goose season continues through September 30th. I’ve been out several times with no success. Other goose hunters have also reported inconsistent patterns. Still don’t know what’s going on with geese, but I’m not seeing the same number of birds as last year. I’ll continue to go though. As mentioned, archery deer season ends October 2nd , and blackpowder season starts the 3rd and runs for two weeks.

I’m still trying to connect with geese this early season. One of my contacts who usually has them coming into his hay fields hasn’t seen the first flock. Early morning fog has restricted my hunting a couple of days and their flight paths have frustrated me on a couple of occasions. Like last year, the warm weather and low rainfall has again made it difficult to pattern their movement. That said, you can’t kill a goose sitting on the sofa watching the morning news. I’ll be out in the field and one day the stars will align for my success.

Speaking of dates, the Asheville Rifle and Pistol Club is planning for its annual Sight In Day. There will again be two dates, November 12 and 19, both Saturdays. The range will open at 10 a.m. each day and there will be a $5 charge per rifle sighted in. Rifles will be checked at the gate to insure they are unloaded (sounds silly but believe me it happens). A bore sight bench will be manned to assist shooters in bore sighting the rifle prior to shooting. Range safety officers will be provided by the club. Shooting will end at 3:00p.m. on both dates. The range is located on Sandy Springs Road off NC 191, Brevard Road, just past the Parkway intersection.

Let me throw some more dates at you, those for Hunter Safety training required before purchasing a state hunting license. The next ones in our area both are on October 5 – 6. One is at Skyland Fire Department in Arden and the other is in Marshall at the Cooperative Extension Center. Classes start at 6 p.m. for both nights. Get it done before deer season and you need that license!

Just so the anglers don’t feel underserved, we are just around the corner to when Delayed Harvest waters revert back from Hatchery Supported on October 1st. This is a date a lot of anglers look forward to as the Commission starts to stock Delayed Harvest waters for the winter season. If we get some good Autumn rains to get the stream levels back up October should be a good month for some catch and release fishing.

Don Mallicoat owns Wings & Clays Guns ‘N Gear in Asheville and can be contacted at

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