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NCWRC holding family-friendly hunting and fishing events this weekend

Learn more about fishing, hunting and wildlife conservation this weekend as nine family-friendly events supported by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission get underway. With the exception of two Greenwing fishing events, all events are free.

The events, celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day, will be held across the state on Sept. 26. Times and activities vary for each event, although each event will provide opportunities for participants to connect with nature while practicing outdoor skills in fishing, kayaking, archery, air rifle shooting, fly-casting, identifying aquatic insects, reptiles and amphibians and much more. 

September 22 at 5:59 pm

North Carolina hunt clubs help feed the hungry through free cooler rental program

Want to help feed the hungry? The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the N.C. Wildlife Federation, is offering hunters free use of a mobile cooler to collect and transport deer safely to participating USDA-certified processors for donation to the N.C. Hunters for the Hungry program.

Qualifying conservation and charitable organizations and organized hunt clubs can reserve the deer cooler on a first-come, first-serve basis Monday through Thursday each week until Jan. 1, by submitting an online application. 

September 22 at 12:01 pm

Teen bowhunter downs big Chatham County buck

Luke Bayse, a 17-yr old Thomasville hunter, isn’t your typical youth deer hunter. While many teen hunters are happy to get a shot at anything in the woods, Bayse is very selective in what he shoots, and this attitude has resulted in his share of trophy bucks, including a Chatham County 11-point buck he shot last week that has been green-scored at 141.

Bayse has been watching this buck with the help of trail cameras for over three years, and this year decided it was big enough to shoot. He had to wait a few days after the season opened because of the wind. Bayse and his dad had the buck patterned well enough to know that once the wind was right, whoever sat in that stand would have a chance to take this buck.

September 22 at 7:01 am

Hit the shipwrecks for Carolina Beach flounder

The nearshore reefs and shipwrecks out of Carolina Beach are hotspots for flounder right now, and Capt. Dennis Barbour of Island Tackle and Hardware has been having a lot of success in those areas right now, and while flounder aren’t the only fish biting, he said that has been the most consistent fishing for the past couple of weeks, and he doesn't see any reason to think that will change soon.

Capt. Barbour said two keys are essential to a successful flounder trip, and the first key is anchoring. “If you don’t anchor properly, you’re not going to be able to cast as well without getting hung up and losing a lot of tackle. You want to anchor so that you’ll have good bottom to cast to, and the ability to work your bait along the bottom without your hook getting hung in the wreck,” he said.

September 21 at 7:02 am

Hoax: NC non-typical archery deer killed last week proves false, scorer says

Joey Thompson, an official scorer for the N.C. Bowhunters Association, said on Sunday night that the antlers from an apparent state-record whitetail deer that he scored for a Surry County hunter last week came from Pennsylvania.

Thompson posted on his Facebook page on Sunday night that a non-typical buck that he measured at 208 inches net non-typical – more than 30 inches larger than the existing state-record archery kill – taken by Nick Davis, an Elkin hunter, were actually a set of antlers from Pennsylvania that had been screwed into the skull plate of a small buck killed in North Carolina.

September 20 at 10:47 pm

Stokesdale bowhunter sticks 150-inch buck

R.J. Seiler of Stokesdale had hunted a piece of property in Rockingham County for about 20 years and knew it like the back of his hand, but when 30 acres that adjoin the property were clear-cut this year, he had to rethink everything. Fortunately, the place he decided to hang a stand turned out to be a winner, with a 150-inch buck making a fatal mistake there this past Monday night.

Seiler figured the new clear-cut would have a profound effect on the deer using his property, and he was correct. There were tracks all over the place with several major trails entering and exiting the cutover littered with fresh, tender sprouts. After thorough scouting this past summer, he found a place inside his hardwoods where several trails converged leading into the cutover and connecting with a 4-acre field of standing corn field adjacent to a creek bottom. 

September 18 at 12:01 pm

Elon bowhunter scores 150-class 9-point buck

After getting 600 trail-camera photos of does and scrub bucks, Alex Hughes of Elon wasn’t expecting too much action the first week of archery season. With a new bow bought this past Saturday morning, he expected a Sunday afternoon hunt with long-time pal Michael Herring of Elon to be a doe fest. Boy, was he ever wrong, as the buck of a lifetime showed up and gave Hughes a 13-yard shot he didn’t miss.

Hughes took a huge 9-pointer with a 17-inch inside spread and 14-inch tines that measures around 150 total inches – after deciding to pass up a trophy 8-pointer.

September 17 at 6:03 pm

Elkin bowhunter kills NC pending state-record non-typical buck

When he killed a couple of bucks last season with racks that scored better than 150 points, Nick Davis of Elkin said several people he knew told him he’d never kill another one that big. They were correct. The buck he killed Wednesday evening in Surry County wasn’t the same size as the others; it would have swallowed them, and has swallowed up the top spot as the biggest non-typical ever killed by a bowhunter in North Carolina.

Davis’s huge 27-point buck, taken around 6:30 p.m., carries a 5x5 main-frame, tines up to 11 ˝ inches long, bases that measure 6 and 7 ˝ inches in circumference, and almost 60 inches of non-typical points. Joey Thompson, a certified scorer for the N.C. Bowhunters Association, put his tape measure on the buck on Thursday. According to his measurements, but buck has a gross score of 223 1/8 inches and a net score of 208 2/8.

September 17 at 9:00 am

Cooling water is good news for Carolina bass anglers

Largemouth bass in lakes all across both Carolinas are starting to move into shallow-water creeks, following the pods of bait that move up once the water begins cooling off this time of year. It's a recipe that can result in stellar fishing for anglers like Clemson University angler Jacob Reome, who said this is the season he looks forward to every year.

"When the air temperatures start dropping at night like it has been lately, that really starts to cool the water down, even if it's still getting warm throughout the day, and that gets the baitfish moving into those creeks and shallow water," Reome said.

September 17 at 7:01 am

Record $1.6 million fine levied in Ohio deer trafficking case

A $1.6 million fine — the largest for a wildlife crime in U.S. history — was ordered in an Ohio whitetail deer trafficking case, according to media reports.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on Wednesday that Benjamin N. Chason, 61, of Climax, Ga., was sentenced for violations of the Lacey Act, a conservation law prohibiting the sale of illegally taken wildlife.

September 16 at 5:21 pm

Top 3 redfish lures

While the redfish bite has stayed steady all summer, it’s been heating up even more lately. The waters around Morehead City are cooling off as air temperatures have starting dropping a little earlier than normal this year. Bait is plentiful, and redfish will spend the next month or so gorging themselves on this abundance, knowing that it won’t be long before the bait leaves the inshore waters.

With so many baitfish around, anglers can catch redfish on a variety of lures. They all look similar to some type of bait that is currently present. Brandon Key spends much of the year fishing in freshwater, but this time of year, he switches to redfish in the Morehead City area, and he fishes exclusively with three types of lures.

September 16 at 7:02 am

The sisters-in-law bucks

Jennifer Morris and Nancy “Tootie” Morris have something in common besides living in the tiny Person County community of Moriah: they married brothers. They also have something else in common: they killed huge whitetail bucks last Saturday on opening day of North Carolina’s archery season.

Jennifer Morris, who appeared on the cover of North Carolina Sportsman back in 2012 with a 135-inch Granville County buck, killed a 158 6/8-inch 11-pointer at around 6:15 this past Saturday evening. Her sister-in-law, Tootie Morris, killed a 141-inch 9-pointer in Person County about an hour later. Both bucks were their biggest ever.

September 15 at 12:01 pm

Chatham County hunter downs early morning velvet buck on opening day

Pittsboro’s Jake Muehlbach didn’t have to wait long to get a deer worthy of entering in this year’s Bag-A-Buck contest. It was just a few minutes after first light of opening day when he downed his Chatham County velvet 8-point buck, and while many folks might write his kill off as a stroke of good fortune, it was anything but luck.

“I’d been checking my trail cams in that area, and I saw this same deer coming back day after day, and always around 6:30 a.m. He showed up here and there in the afternoon, but every morning, he was walking in around 6:30 and staying for about an hour,” Muehlbach said.

September 15 at 7:01 am

Women's only hunter education course in Charlotte

Ladies, have you wanted to take a hunter education course but didn't want to feel intimidated or singled out among a room full of men? The NCWRC and Bass Pro Shops are teaming up to fix that problem. This Saturday, Sept 19, they will hold a women's only hunter education course that will cover everything from firearms safety to different methods of hunting.

Introductory archery lessons will also be covered. 

September 14 at 7:02 am

Bass fishing tricky this month, but these tips will help

When I was a kid learning to fish, I dreaded September. I used to keep a log of every fish I caught all year, and in September, the number of fish I caught would drop by half. I fished Falls of the Neuse Lake most often, since it was only a few minutes up the road from where I grew up.  I’d mix in smaller lakes and ponds, especially after school when time was short.

What was going on? I remember the water just seemed dead, and it was still hot. There were virtually no fish on the offshore places where I’d caught them all summer, and nothing happening beating the banks. Sound familiar?

September 13 at 7:02 am

Grouper tips hold recipe for success

To be successful, grouper, tackle must be very specific and virtually bulletproof. The name of the game is to immediately pull heavy, strong fish away from structure that can destroy leaders.

To improve their chances, experienced anglers use braided line that has virtually none of the stretch of monofilament and has revolutionized grouper fishing. Captains out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center use 80-pound class rods and conventional, star-drag reels spooled with 150 yards of 80-pound, green Power Pro, splicing in a short section of clear, 100-pound mono simply to bridge the gap between the braid and the swivel on their grouper rig.

September 12 at 7:01 am

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