Hunting News and Information

Deer harvest is down from than 6,000 from 2011 season, Commission reports

The N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission has announced recorded a statewide decline in the 2012 deer harvests over the previous season, with six of nine wildlife districts reporting decreases.

Hunters reported harvesting 167,249 whitetails in 2012, a drop of 6,304 – 3.6 percent – from the 2011 season; it was the fourth-straight decline in the statewide harvest.

However, Evin Stanford, the Commission’s lead deer biologist, isn’t worried and said the harvest reduction shouldn’t be viewed as a major concern.

“At the state level, (the total harvest) was not that far from last year,” he said. “High levels of mortality were very localized in nature. If you look at the overall state decline, it wasn’t that big, although one region did show an almost 20-percent drop.”
April 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm

N.C. House passes bill to start hunting 'apprentice' program

The N.C. House of Representatives passed last week House Bill 296 — The Hunter Education/Apprentice Permit — which allows an individual holding a Hunting Heritage Apprentice Permit to hunt if accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who holds a hunting license in North Carolina, or if the individual is accompanied by an adult landholder or landholder’s spouse who is exempt from the hunting license requirement if hunting on the landholder’s land.

Hunting with an apprentice license would still require following other licensing requirements and hunting regulations.

The Hunter Heritage Apprentice Permit is a product of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s “Strategic Recruitment and Retention Initiative” recently organized by Commissioner Dell Murphy. The bill, introduced by Rep. John Bell (R-Craven/Greene/Lenior/Wayne), is intended to increase participation in hunting by allowing individuals to hunt under the guidance of licensed hunters instead of requiring them to complete coursework.
April 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

Habitat Improvement Initiative Series

Stillwater Hunt Club is a private hunting club in Halifax County, N.C., in the heart of one of the highest deer-production areas in the state. Over the past 37 years, Stillwater has grown from a small lease to over 2,300 contiguous acres. Unlike smaller management units, Stillwater is eligible to realize real results from strict habitat and management guidelines beneficial to sound wildlife management. Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

Pre-planting herbicide treatments are crucial for spring plots

Any unwanted competition should be nipped in the bud on warm-season food-plot sites before planting the first seed. Early chemical treatment to soils will promote a full and lush food plot.Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

Avoid being seen, bugged while hunting

Equipment needed when hunting wild turkeys remains the same, with only a few exceptions, in northeastern North Carolina.

Full camouflage is required, including face masks and gloves, to avoid the keen eyesight of turkeys.Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

How much to call, which sounds to use

Guide Clark Purvis, who called 16 gobblers to hunters during the 2012 spring season, said he prefers a Don Carter double-reed mouth call, but the frequency and loudness of calls depends upon what a hunter hears before he makes the first sound.Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

Tight chokes, 12 gauges and No. 5 shot effective

Although wild turkeys have been killed with many gauges of shotguns and pellet sizes, guide Clark Purvis said hunters can maximize their chances with a firearm specifically set up for gobblers.Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

Nothing like the real thing

Over the past 20 years, turkey fever has set in across North Carolina, and every decoy manufacturer has amped up its styles and attention to detail. Decoys have evolved from the old, drab-looking hens with little peculiarity to realistic gobbler decoys with natural iridescence. Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

Pair gobbler calls with gobbler decoys

Decoys can help hunters tremendously when trying to bag that early or late-season bird. Gobbling tom decoys are an excellent choice to use for bringing in a mature gobbler, and hunters must change their calling tactics to mimic what kind of show they are trying to display.Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

Put them in the best place possible

Where to set up around decoys can also make or break your turkey hunt.Read More...
April 15, 2013 at 7:00 am

Youth-Only turkey hunting is great chance to involve kids in the outdoors

 Video Included
Youth-only hunting days are designed to entice adults to mentor young hunters without succumbing to the temptations of hunting for themselves, and this year, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission expanded youth-only turkey hunting from one day to a six, from the first Saturday of April through the Friday that precedes the regular-season opener.

Walter ‘Deet’ James, hunting heritage biologist for the Commission, understands new-hunter recruitment is vital to the sustainability of hunting and fishing opportunities, and the obstacles that are in the way now did not exist just a couple of decades ago.

April 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Proof’s in the pudding

The next few months rank high for producing quality and healthy deer for the fall season and for the future of deer on your property. There is so much going on in the spring and summer for bucks that the actions taken by landowners will have a huge impact on the herd for the rest of the year.Read More...
April 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

Custom-made call allows turkey hunters to make quiet purrs and clucks

South Carolina call-maker John Tanner gets ideas for some of his custom-made calls from interesting places, but none better than a deer stand.Read More...
April 10, 2013 at 10:46 am

Montgomery County produces great gobbler for 7-year-old hunter

Sportsmen strive to meet certain milestones; everyone wants to land a 10-pound bass, tag a 10-point buck or bag a 20-pound turkey. Grown men and women strive for decades or longer to achieve such goals.

It didn’t take Chase Kinley of Thomasville very long to kill the gobbler of a lifetime.

A 7-year-old first grader, Chase began hunting with his father, Steve, when he was three. This past Saturday, on Opening Day of North Carolina’s new Youth-Only Turkey Season, Chase showed up his father big time, taking a 21-pound gobbler that sported a 10-inch beard and 1 1/8-inch spurs.
April 09, 2013 at 8:22 am

Mojo Shake-N-Jake

The Shake-N-Jake is the first ever full body, full motion turkey decoy. MOJO has teamed up with world champion turkey caller Preston Pittman to develop this realistic looking decoy that not only attracts game, but diverts attention away from the hunter. The Shake-N-Jake raises its tail and fans it while simultaneously turning its body, just like a real gobbler. Its remote control will work up to 150 feet away and the 2 foot steel-mounting stake stores easily inside the decoy.Read More...
April 01, 2013 at 7:00 am

Shall we gather at the river? - Roanoke River drainage gobblers present plenty of opportunities and challenges to North Carolina hunters

Perhaps nowhere in North Carolina have wild turkeys fared better than the state’s northeastern quadrant.

For years, the counties along the Roanoke River drainage — Bertie, Halifax, Martin and Northampton — have been among leaders in turkey harvests.

The region, including private and public land, features several advantages for the birds, not the least of which is relatively few human occupants. Also, many residents are farmers who cultivate large fields that grow agricultural crops and provide food for turkeys. Swampy habitats around fields also offer safe roosting and escape areas, but perhaps most important, landowners have protected the birds.Read More...
April 01, 2013 at 7:00 am