In the 17 years since the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission defined catch standards to prevent overfishing, and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission published a fisheries management plan for the species that set more-restrictive limits for commercial and recreational fishermen, red drum have thrived in North Carolina waters.
About 20 years ago, North Carolina’s winter and early spring inshore fishing was a losing proposition. Cold weather chased sportfish from sounds, bays and rivers to the warmer ocean waters, leaving inshore anglers to oil and respool reels, remove rust and repair rods while waiting for spring.
Nick House has no misgivings about hunting in December because fewer hunters are applying pressure to deer in his local area. He figures secretive, mature bucks may be more inclined to bed down on sunny hills or walk during daylight hours, especially when the secondary rut arrives, usually around the middle of the month.
In eastern and western North Carolina, many modern bear hunters own pursuit hounds, most from the Plott stock, a breed of brindled bear and boar dog brought to the high country in 1750 by Johannes Plott, a German immigrant.