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Outdoors report: Archery hunters bringing in nice deer

Archery season began Sept. 13, and hunters have hit the woods in good numbers.
Several dedicated hunters beat the early heat and humidity in the first week of the season and checked in nice deer at Hill’s Minnow Farm on Bringle Ferry Road.
With temperatures starting to cool, hunter success should increase.
Public areas that provide great opportunity for archery hunters includes:
– Second Creek game lands: This permit only area gives has standing crops of soybeans and corn. Field borders and creek channels offer many places to put a stand. Boundaries are marked with red paint, signs and red/white posts. Use caution and don’t enter private property without permission.
– Alcoa game land near River Road adjacent to Tuckertown Lake: This area offers large and small tracts of public land, with many portions adjacent to soybean fields. To get away from the road, try the area near the Reeves Island road dead-end. Several miles of logging roads provide easy access to most of this area. Review maps and avoid crossing private land without permission.
– Linwood Game Land: This public land is by boat access only. Currently standing crops include soybeans and corn, with some corn picked. Water surrounding three sides create great funnels and ambush sites. The best hunting is usually before firearm season.
Field dressing deer
During hot weather, it is critical that a harvested deer be field dressed and cooled as soon as possible. Heat, dirt and moisture are major factors that contribute to meat spoilage.
Some tips:
– If meat is to be hung in a cooler, the recommended temperature for the best results is 34 to 37 degrees.
– Hang for seven to 14 days if meat was chilled quickly after harvest.
– Leave the hide on and maintain the proper temperature. This will keep the meat from drying out and promote the bacteria that helps tenderize or age it.
– Do not trim fat from meat until after the aging/hang time is complete.
When field dressing deer, it is wise to use surgical gloves to protect your hands. Watch for ticks and other parasites that often inhabit a deer’s hide.
Q&A
Q. Can deer get rabies?
A. Yes. Although it is rare, there have been documented cases in North Carolina.
Q. Has Chronic Wasting Disease been found in North Carolina’s deer herd?
A. No. This fatal disease of deer and elk can potentially devastate a herd. It has not been found in North Carolina. It has been shown up in West Virginia.
Q. Is deer season being changed next year?
A. There are several proposed season changes that if passed would dramatically change schedules and manner of hunting. The proposals will be addressed at nine public hearings across the state. In Wildlife District 6 that includes Rowan and nine other counties, the hearing will be in January. The date and location will be announced later.
Fishing
Recent rains have filled most lakes in our area. High Rock Lake is within 2 feet of full, with water clear in most creeks and stained to muddy in the extreme northern portions of the main channel.
Crappie continue to bite well with limits of 9-10-inch fish normal, and some weighing more than a pound. Minnows and jigs fished in water that is between 10-14 feet deep and off of points and drop-offs are the hottest spots.
Night fishing continues to produce crappie and white perch in good numbers at Bringle Ferry Road bridge, and Abbott’s Creek Highway 8 bridge.
White perch and white bass have been active on the surface near Panther Creek and Blacks Bottoms in the early morning and late evening. Good catches of largemouth bass have been observed in Dutch Second Creek, Abbott’s Creek and portions of Swearing Creek.
Channel catfish are very active throughout the lake, with catches up to 10 pounds common. Try cut-bait, chicken liver or worms.
Striped bass ranging from 6-10 pounds are hitting in the mornings and evenings below High Rock Dam on live shad and plastic shad bodies. Some have weighed up to 10 pounds.
Boaters should keep a lookout for floating hazards throughout the main channel. Large logs and portions of trees are scattered from Shriner’s Point to Panther Creek. Water levels currently allow navigation in most portions of the lake. Use caution in the northern sections of High Rock, which is known as the “mud flats.” This large area has an average depth of less than 4 feet and changes as sediment piles up.
Trout waters open Oct. 1On Oct. 1, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will implement annual delayed-harvest regulations for 20 designated trout waters in 14 western N.C. counties.
Under delayed-harvest regulations, no trout can be harvested or possessed from these waters between Oct. 1, and a half-hour after sunset on June 5, 2009. No natural bait is allowed, and anglers can fish only with single-hook, artificial lures.
Effective July 1, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission defined artificial lure as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell. More information is available in the 2008-2009 N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest.
At 6 a.m. on June 6, 2009, delayed-harvest waters will open to fishing under hatchery-supported regulations only for youths 15 and younger. No bait restrictions or minimum length limits are in effect, and there is a seven-trout-per-day limit. These waters will open to anglers of all ages at noon. Hatchery-supported regulations remain in force until Oct. 1 each year. Details on the counties involved are available at www.ncwildlife. org.
E-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at huntfishguy66@ aol.com.

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