The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will conduct a public hearing on proposed changes to state hunting, wildlife management, game land and inland fishing regulations at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, in Clyde, in the auditorium of Haywood Community College.
Among the wildlife management-related proposed changes is one that would open an elk hunting season with the following restrictions:
• The season for elk would be Oct. 1 to Nov. 1
• Hunting would be by permit only
• The bag limit would be one per permit
• Elk could be taken by any legal firearm or archery equipment.
The Commission is proposing this regulation because of an increased interest in elk hunting on private land in Western North Carolina. Population evaluations indicate that the herd can sustain a limited harvest.
Other proposals include:
• Allowing the sale of raw (untanned) deer hides from an animal that has been legally harvested or was killed by a motor vehicle. Current regulations regarding the reporting and identification of harvested deer would apply, but there are no proposed additional tagging requirements for selling hides. Processed hides require a Trophy Sale permit in order to be sold legally.
• Changing the definition of a bear cub from any bear weighing less than 50 pounds to one weighing less than 75 pounds. This proposed regulation is necessary to make the commission’s rules consistent with state law adopted in the 2015 legislative session.
• Allowing Wildlife Damage Control Agents to renew their status every three years by attending the commission’s training course or completing an equivalent in continuing education courses. Currently, the only option agents have for recertification is attending a commission training course; however, this proposal, if passed, will give agents more options and flexibility when getting recertified.
For information on all of the proposed regulations to the state’s wildlife management, game lands and fishing regulations for the 2016-17 seasons, visitwww.ncpaws.org/PAWS/WRC/PublicComments/PublicEntry/PublicComments.aspx.
The comment period for all other proposed regulations will run through Jan. 25, 2016. After collecting and considering all public comments, the 19 Wildlife Commissioners will meet Feb. 11 to decide whether to adopt the proposals. Approved proposals will take effect Aug. 1, 2016.