NEW BERN – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering a youth-only deer hunting opportunity on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Weyerhaeuser-Cool Springs Environmental Education Center in Craven County.
The hunt is limited to 10 youth ages 12 to 16. Hunt permits, which cost $5, are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. To be eligible, participants must have completed a hunter education course successfully. During the hunt, all youth must be accompanied by a licensed adult, who is not allowed to hunt.
Both the adult and youth must attend a mandatory orientation session on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Weyerhaeuser-Cool Spring EE Center in order to hunt the following weekend. Registration for orientation begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The center is located along the Neuse River about 6 miles from New Bern.
The hunt is a permit-only hunt. Participants can purchase their permits through Wildlife Service Agents, which are located across the state, or by calling 1-888-248-6834. The deadline to purchase a permit is Dec.1. Accompanying adults do not need to purchase a permit.
“We provide guidance and assistance for each youth hunter every step of the way,” said BB Gillen, the outdoor skills coordinator for the commission. “We always have a great time and, more often than not, participants harvest a deer.”
For more information on this youth hunt, contact BB Gillen at [email protected] or 919- 218-3638.
Before pulling the trigger
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Home From The Hunt™ safety campaign wants hunters to always think twice and positively identify their target and what is beyond it before pulling the trigger.
“Don’t let anticipation or excitement cloud your judgment,” said Kevin Crabtree, the state’s southern coastal district hunter education coordinator. “Make sure there are no houses, vehicles or anyone beyond your target so the bullet, arrow or shot has a safe path to follow.”
The four basic rules of firearms safety:
— Always point a firearm in a safe direction.
— Treat every firearm as if it were loaded and never assume a firearm is unloaded.
— Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot.
— Be sure of your target and what is beyond your target.
Hunters should use binoculars to first identify a target, Crabtree advised, and then sight through a scope only when ready to fire. This ensures the muzzle is always pointed in a safe direction.
All first-time hunting license buyers must successfully complete a Hunter Education Course, offered free across the state. Go to www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0031 for more information.