Hunting News and Information

Straight Shootin
Hogs were originally introduced into North Carolina to be hunted by wealthy guests of a game preserve in Graham County. Swine are divine!

Even though North Carolina’s deer season ended a month or so ago, big-game hunters looking for a different target can find plenty of action close to home with one of the meanest animals roaming the countryside, the wild hog. And one thing special about them is, hunters can utilize a wide range of creative tactics to bring home the bacon.  

Wild hogs, aka feral swine, are becoming abundant across the state. Nearly half of North Carolina’s 100 counties have distinct populations, but hogs have not always been a part of the ecosystem. 

Not only was Christopher Columbus responsible for the discovery of America in the 15th century, he and other explorers are credited with introducing the first pigs to North American. Europeans brought supplies, including domestic animals, along to serve as food sources on their worldly travels, but it was April 1912 before the first wild hog stepped onto North Carolina soil. 

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Banana water lily is a great aquatic plant to help jump-start a moist-soil management program. Get ducks and keep them

Each fall and winter, flooded areas along the eastern seaboard get bombarded by the annual migration of waterfowl, and duck hunters are always on the prowl for new ways to get more birds into shooting range. From new calls and revolutionary decoying devices to the various grain mixes planted in impoundments that are temporarily flooded, hunters are always going to the drawing board, devising plans to improve their hunting experiences. But the typical dry-land impoundment may not always be the best way to attract and retain a substantial portion of the migrating flock at the time when it matters most. 

For years, the typical agriculture field with perimeter dikes and a reliable water source has been the ideal setup to get a visit from the migrating flock. And no doubt, these dry-land impoundments can be super duck magnets if planted correctly and controlled effectively.  Ducks are suckers for fields flooded with carbohydrate-filled grains, yet, the majority of these impoundments only provide a temporary food source that often gets depleted quickly. And since they are only flooded for a short period of time, these fields are only important to ducks on a part-time basis, with a very limited grocery selection available. 

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Cody Caviness of Asheboro killed this huge buck on Friday, Dec. 13 -- his lucky day. Friday the 13th was plenty lucky for Asheboro hunter

A lot of people consider Friday the 13th an unlucky day, but don’t sell that superstition to Cody Caviness of Asheboro. On Friday, Dec. 13, the 22-year-old construction superintendent bagged his career-best whitetail. It has a nearly-perfect 5x5 rack that’s been scored at 1691/8 inches by Denton taxidermist Tommy Freeman. 

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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission plans to trap between 75 and 150 deer -- a huge percentage of them does -- over the next three years from Morrow Mountain State Park for relocation on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in western North Carolina. Cherokees having tribal lands restocked with deer from state park

Visitors to the Cherokee Indian Reservation in western North Carolina often see wildlife – not including the ones headed for slot-machine seats inside Harrah’s – and thanks to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, they’ll be seeing more whitetail deer in the near future. 

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Floridian David Curtis returned to his native Alamance County to kill this huge buck last Thanksgiving morning. Huge buck makes Florida man thankful for Thanksgiving hunt

David Curtis, a native North Carolinian who has lived most of his life in Florida, returns home nearly every November to deer hunt in Alamance County. Last fall was a special season for Curtis, who used a Thompson Center Encore rifle with a .25-06 barrel to drop the best buck of his hunting career, a 10-point typical that scored 166 7/8 Boone and Crockett Inches.

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Hunters are passing up more young bucks than ever before, according to a survey done by QDMA. QDMA: Hunters passing on more 1.5-year-old bucks than ever before

More yearling bucks are getting a pass from deer hunters than at any time in modern history, according to data gathered by QDMA for its 2014 Whitetail Report, now available online.

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Samantha Evans killed this huge Guilford County non-typical on Dec. 18. Guilford County woman's huge non-typical may be record-setter

Samantha Evans had a tough deer-hunting season compared to hubby Jeremy Evans — until Dec. 18. That’s when Evans, a Greensboro resident, downed what likely will be the best non-typical Tarheel State buck ever killed by a female hunter.

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Hubert Bowen of Ayden won the December Bag-A-Buck contest with this Greene County buck killed Dec. 27. Ayden man wins December Bag-A-Buck contest

Hubert Bowen of Ayden ended an 11-year drought in a big way last fall. He’d had plenty of chances to take deer over since 2002, but he didn’t pull the trigger until Oct. 15, when he killed an 8-pointer. He added another 8-pointer on Nov. 21, then a third 8-pointer on Dec. 27. The last of those three Greene County bucks he entered in North Carolina Sportsman’s Bag-A-Buck contest, and his entry was chosen a few days later as the winner of the monthly contest for December.

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Roy Sowers (left) killed this Chatham County coyote; every one of North Carolina’s 100 counties has a coyote population. Coyote information station

• Coyotes appeared in North Carolina in the early 1980s after illegal relocations from out of state and releases for sport hunting with hounds. Natural range expansion from Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina helped them get a foothold in all 100 counties by 2000.

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Coyotes are adaptable enough and are in enough places that wiping them out by trapping or hunting won’t happen. USDA trapper: coyotes cannot be eradicated

The assistant director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Service said no state can eradicate coyotes.

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Prescribed burns and other normal forestry measures are seldom undertaken on national forests, to the detriment of many wildlife species. Forestry considerations

Due in part to pressure from environmental concerns, the U.S. Forest Service heavily curtailed timber harvest in national forests in the late 1980s. This has impacts a number of species, including a reduction in many game populations that are dependent on early successional growth for both protection and food supply.

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A 16- or 20-gauge double-barrel shotgun choked improved cylinder and modified is a perfect gun to carry all day in mountainous grouse country. Grouse hunting things to know

• Guns and shells - You will be walking long distances and hunting in tight quarters; depending on your personal preference, any good birding gun will do, but bigger is not necessarily better. A lightweight 16- or 20-gauge over/under or side-by-side double-barrel with 26- to 28-inch barrels is recommended. All you need is one shot, so a semi-automatic isn’t necessary. Chokes range from skeet to modified, and you’ll want a tighter choke on your second barrel for the longer second shot, if presented. Preferred shot size is No. 71/2, but a No. 6 will often be in the second barrel.

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