Hunting News and Information

Straight Shootin
Chris House of Wilmington shot this drake ruddy duck or “butterball” on a New River diver hunt. Fill out a bag limit with oddballs, butterballs

While most of the ducks on the New River are lesser scaup, other oddball ducks can help fill out a daily bag limit of six that can only include two scaup.


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A good retriever can make a duck hunt on the New River even more enjoyable. Bumpers boost canine confidence

One of the most enjoyable aspects of hunting ducks on big, open waters like the New River is watching a trained retriever making a long, difficult retrieve.


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Holman Byrd’s scaup (left) and canvasback decoys were made from cedar and tupelo; he also uses cork, which he says is indestructible. Indestructible decoys? Make your own

Diving ducks come into the decoys flying extremely low, often barely above the surface of the water. When using large decoy spreads, low-flying waterfowl like scaup and canvasback can draw fire from hunters that riddles decoys with shot. That’s one reason Holman Byrd makes many of his own diving duck decoys.


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Trapping is a good way to control the number of  wild hogs on a piece of property — and put bacon and hams in the freezer — and January is a prime month to trap hogs because of limited natural food sources. Keep traps active for feral hogs

Trapping wild hogs an effective method for filling up the freezer with fresh pork, but trappers can often have trouble coaxing hogs into traps during the summer and fall when food resources are readily available. However, as January arrives and deer season ends, most natural foods are gone and hogs are out on the prowl looking for something to eat; that makes trapping much more effective than any other time of year.


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Members of North Carolina’s Twin Creeks Hunting Club have the habitat and resources to produce wall-hanger bucks like this one. Wildlife Habitat Improvement Series: Twin Creeks Hunting Club

Nestled between Big Fishing Creek and Little Fishing Creek in northeast North Carolina lies Twin Creeks Hunting Club. With more than 7,000 acres of swamps, timberland and a conglomeration of food plots under cultivation, Twin Creeks has the perfect mix of wilderness and prime wildlife habitat to produce a wide variety of game species. Beyond having a solid deer population, Twin Creeks has a huge flock of wild turkeys and just enough black bears for a member to fill a tag during the new season. But the whitetail deer reigns in these parts, and for good reason.


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Hunters Jefferson Boaz, Folger Boaz, Chase Harris, Jeremy Johnson and Frank Harris took these tundra swans hunting with guides Charles Haywood and Karl Helmkamp of Albemarle Outfitters. Swan Hunting Permits

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.


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Staying hidden is much more important on late-season hunts, so building a blind from natural sources is often a good idea. Late-season dove tips

Andy Pope and Lowrie Beacham have developed habits in their pursuit of late-season doves that are worth sharing:


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Know your limits, regs, times

Every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts aerial surveys to estimate the breeding population of waterfowl across Canada and the northern United States. Hunting seasons and regulations are set for all four flyways, with the population estimate taken in to account.


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Leslie Mills killed this huge buck on Clay Creek Hunting Club property in 2011. Wildlife Habitat Improvement:

Minutes from Charlotte and just south of the state line in Chesterfield County lies Clay Creek Hunting Club. Consisting mostly of planted pines, agriculture fields, oak ridges swamp and creek bottoms, Clay Creek has almost the perfect collection of habitat types to support a wide range of game species, but trophy whitetail bucks are the primary emphasis for this seasoned group of hunters, and they see the results of their work in a real way.


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Deer hunters can do themselves a big favor by targeting wild hogs, when available,  especially after the end of deer season. Here, piggy, piggy, piggy

The weather may seem very similar to December, but January is definitely a transitional month for outdoorsman around the Carolinas — especially the thousands of deer hunters out there. More hunters participate in deer season than all of the other game animals combined. But just because the season is over doesn’t mean the deer rifle should be retired to the gun cabinet. Hunters can continue hunting, targeting a different quarry with large white tusks in the front and a pair of country hams bringing up the rear. 


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Coyotes are unwelcome visitors in North Carolina. Unwelcome night visitors - Top-drawer predators are making pests of themselves, but they provide a great off-season target for North Carolina deer hunters

Like embarrassing relatives or low-information voters, several things are true about coyotes in North Carolina:


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Guide Joshua Swaim shows the kind of gamebird for which North Carolina’s mountains are famous. Ruff-ing it - The Pisgah National Forest is a grouse hot spot for North Carolina hunters who know where to look and what to look for

If you’ve been considering joining a gym, buying some exercise equipment or taking up a weight-loss program to try and drop those 10 pounds — or maybe it’s 15 — you may have added over the holidays, here’s an alternative. 


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