RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will conduct nine public hearings in January on proposed changes to the state’s wildlife management, game lands and fishing regulations for the 2016-17 seasons.
The first public hearing will be held at Bladen Community College in Dublin at the college’s auditorium starting at 7 p.m.
Among the wildlife management-related proposed changes is one that would allow 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.
Another wildlife management-related proposal would change 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.
In the Piedmont and Coastal areas of the state, a proposed regulation would allow youth to hunt all day in waterfowl impoundments on designated youth waterfowl days. Currently, waterfowl hunting in managed waterfowl impoundments must end at 1 p.m. and decoys must be removed by 3 p.m. Removing these time barriers will allow youth additional hunting opportunities and encourage youth hunter recruitment and retention.
Another proposal would allow 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.
More information on all of the proposed regulations to the state’s wildlife management, game lands and fishing regulations for the 2016-17 seasons can be found online.
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 on Feb. 11, 2016, to decide whether to adopt the proposals. Approved proposals will take effect Aug. 1, 2016.