Tundra swans do a tremendous amount of damage to winter field crops, in northeast North Carolina, so the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission issues 5,000 permits to hunt tundra swans each year.

Applications for these permits become available for purchase on July 1; the deadline is Oct. 1. There is a $10 non-refundable fee for each application. In the past, leftover permits that could be purchased after the drawing, but there haven’t been leftover permits for a few years. For the 2012-2013 season, there were 7,380 applicants for the 5,000 available swan permits.

Applicants must have a state hunting license and state waterfowl privilege license that is valid at the time of the drawing. Applicants without these licenses and their party members will be disqualified from the drawing.

A youth hunter less than 16 years of age who is not licensed may apply for this permit, but he or she must hunt with a properly licensed adult. Hunters may apply individually or as a hunting party, with a maximum of five hunters in a party.

Sending duplicate permit applications will result in disqualification of the applicant and all party members, if applicable. Hunters who held a permit the previous year and failed to return the required Commission questionnaire by the deadline will not be eligible in the next year’s permit draw process.

The Permit Hunting Opportunities Guide available on-line at www.ncwildlife.org or by phone at 888-248-6834 has information on this and other permit hunt opportunities. Hunters may apply for their Tundra Swan Permit on-line at www.ncwildlife.org, by telephone at 888-248-6834 or by visiting their local Wildlife Service Agent.