Hunting News and Information

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Straight Shootin
Craig Hester's huge 10-point buck fell on Nov. 27, just four days after he hung a stand to take advantage of sign he'd discovered while rabbit hunting. Rabbit hunt was stroke of luck that put Person County hunter on huge buck

A rabbit hunt turned out to be one of the best days ever spent afield for Craig Hester of Person County, because it put him in the right spot to kill a huge 10-point buck on Nov. 25 that may score in the low 160s.


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Spots remain available for a Jan. 31 youth-only permit duck hunt in Currituck County. Permits remain available for youth-only waterfowl hunt in Currituck County

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has a limited number of permits remaining for a special youth-only waterfowl hunt on Jan. 31 on Currituck Sound.


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Angie Jackson and her 5-year-old son, Tucker, take in several raccoons killed on the Lumber River Outdoors/True Vince Coon Club youth hunt, which Tucker won with a 7-pound, 7-ounce raccoon. Turning kids into coon hunters

Rev. Wade Hall Jr., pastor of the Elizabethtown Church of God, hunts raccoons at least three nights a week to keep his dogs in top form for competition, and he often takes young people along. 


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Many groups of bear hunters from the mountains migrate to eastern North Carolina for the December bear season. Let’s go bear hunting!

Bear hunting in eastern North Carolina is one of the most-exhilarating experiences a hunter can have. Unlike most other types of hunting, bear hunting is a group effort that requires good hunters and good land, but people that want to start bear hunting cannot just go out and buy some hounds and begin hunting. It takes substantial training for the dogs and the hunters. 


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Bear seasons in the eastern third of North Carolina often change from county to county, so hunters need to have a firm grip on where they’re hunting and when the season opens and closes. Bear seasons dates can be confusing

Dates for bear seasons across North Carolina, especially in the eastern third of the state, can be so different as to confuse hunters, often changing from one county to the next.


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Big bear tracks with huge toes typically belong to large males, which are generally the favorite targets of bear hunters. Tracks tell a story

For bear hunters with hounds, a bear’s paw prints found along field edges or roadsides are their calling cards. For the experienced hunter, the size and characteristics of the track can tell plenty about the size and sex of the bear. 


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Veteran bear hunters usually have a plan on when and which dogs to release during an active strike and chase, leading to the treeing or baying of a bruin. The dynamics of the pack

Hunting with hounds is a time-honored tradition where hunters rely on man’s best friend to flush, chase and/or locate game. From rabbits and deer to quail and grouse, there are few species were there is no opportunity for dogs to participate in one shape or fashion. Hunters can improve their chances for success and safety by following a few very important guidelines. 


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High and dry spots in the middle of swamps will often be the first places that deer go to hide late in the season when hunting pressure is too great elsewhere. Swamp islands hold big bucks

In order for deer to survive the season, they must learn how to hide from the focus of North Carolina’s deer-hunting battalion. In areas where ponds, lakes, swamps and beaver ponds exist, the deer population increases with the level of hunting pressure. And associated with almost every water course are dry-land hills or islands that begin to collect pressured bucks towards the end of the season. 


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Aerial imagery can help hunters see areas where deer may trade back and forth between water courses and food sources. Technology has its advantages

When Native American hunters first scoured the landscape to feed their tribes, the water courses traversing the land were prime places to encounter game animals. Today, rivers, swamps and streams remain hot spots for locating deer and other animals, but hunters with instant access to aerial imagery have an upper hand on the early hunters. 


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A pintail can be a tremendous bonus to a bag of mixed diving ducks and sea ducks. How to tackle big-water decoy spreads

For many hunters trying to lure ducks into range on ponds, in swamps or around other small bodies of water, “less is more” when it comes to decoys.


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Guide Carlton Thornton will call loudly and aggressively at distant ducks, but when they show interest in his decoys, he’ll tone things down a bit. Local and long-distance calling

Diving ducks do not decoy as readily or gracefully as puddle ducks, but they will respond to calling.


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Thermacell is making heated insoles that should warm your toes in the duck blind. Keep those toes warm

With the largest part of duck season and the final days of deer season arriving this month in the Carolinas, so will winter weather. The long hours in a tree stand or in a flooded marsh have a totally different meaning to our own two feet, practically numb from prolonged exposure to extreme cold. 


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