RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will offer four facilitated permit deer hunts for youth, 12 to 15 years old, during the upcoming hunting season.
“All participants are provided guidance and assistance,” said B.B. Gillen, the Wildlife Commission’s outdoor skills coordinator. “Youth and accompanying adults always have fun and learn — and typically are successful — during these hunts.”
Youth hunters will be selected by a random, computer-generated draw. A $5 nonrefundable administrative fee is charged for each permit hunt application. The 2014 facilitated hunts are:
— Oct. 4 at Duke Energy’s Belews Creek Steam Station, Stokes County. Application deadline is Sept. 1.
— Oct. 18 at Mountain Island Educational State Forest, Lincoln and Gaston counties. Application deadline is Sept. 1.
— Nov. 8 at W. Kerr Scott Reservoir Warrior’s Creek, Wilkes County. Application deadline is Sept. 1.
— Dec. 13, at Weyerhaeuser’s Cool Springs Environmental Ed Center, Craven County. Application deadline is Oct. 1.
For information on facilitated youth hunts, contact Gillen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-218-3638. To apply for any youth hunt, disabled hunts or other permit opportunities, visit ncwildlife.org or call 888-248-6834.
The Wildlife Commission provides permit hunting opportunities across the state. These hunts allow for managed participation, opportunities for special areas and include special hunting opportunities for youth, such as the hunts previously described, and persons with disabilities.
Hunter education certification is required for youth participating in Commission-facilitated permit hunting opportunities. Youth must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult at least 18 years of age. If orientation is required for the particular hunt, both the youth and accompanying adult must attend for the permit to be valid.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home From The Hunt™ safety campaign is reminding hunters to be just as cautious with tree stands prior to deer season as they should while hunting.
“As hunters begin to set up tree stands as part of their preparation, safety is still rule number one,” said Travis Casper, coordinator of the Commission’s Hunter Education Program. “Whether you are scouting a location, trimming shooting lanes and putting up a tree stand, even on a trial basis, use the same precautions you would during hunting season.”
Casper recommended using a lineman-style belt in addition to a full-body harness when first putting a tree stand in place. This minimizes the chance of falls and potential injury, he said.
“Always select a healthy, straight tree for placement,” he said. “Let someone know where you are or take someone along during pre-season work.”
Other tree stand safety recommendations:
— Never carry anything as you climb — use a haul line to raise and lower equipment.
— Maintain three points of contact when climbing.
— Follow manufacturer instructions.
— Don’t exceed manufacturer’s maximum height settings.
As with any piece of equipment, tree stands need inspection before use. Replace rusted bolts, frayed straps or, if needed, buy a new tree stand.
Leaving a tree stand up from one season to the next has some inherent problems that outweigh any convenience. When a tree stand is exposed to the elements due to long-term placement, it may have damaged straps, ropes and attachment cords — any of which potentially may lead to breakage and failure.
For more information on hunting seasons, Hunting Heritage Apprentice Permits and the Hunter Education Program, go to www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0031.