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Outdoors report: Hunters finding birds

The first segment of waterfowl season closed Oct. 4, with successful hunters finding wood ducks, mallards, blue-winged teal, green-winged teal and shovelers.
Wildlife officers checked for proper licenses, bag limits and adherence to shooting times and found most sportsmen abiding by regulations. However, several hunters were found in violation, including several for improper licenses, using lead shot and various motorboat violations.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded to check regulations on bag limits and hunt areas since some changed since last year. Especially be aware of the Southern James Bay Hunt Zone season and bag limit for dark geese, which includes Canada geese and white-fronted geese when hunting in the Yadkin River drainage.
Small game season open
Small game season opened Monday for squirrels, raccoon and bobcat.
Good mast crops (acorns) this year gives squirrel hunters a wide choice of areas to hunt on public land. For great hardwood river bottom hunts, check out Alcoa game lands downstream from the Buck Power station on High Rock Lake. On the Rowan County side of the river, this area is dominated by mature hardwood forests. Ridges, saddles and creek bottoms offer great areas to set up and watch for squirrels feeding on acorns.
Access to this area is limited,usually to hunters in boats. Use these GPS coordinates for a good boat access point: N 35 42′ 58.58″ W 80 21’20.14″
Another great area that can be accessed by foot is on Stokes Road in Davidson County. A large section of Alcoa game lands has areas of hardwood forests on several hills surrounded by various sized timbered tracts of land.
For GPS users , try N 35 33’47.77, W 80 11′ 33.88. This will place you on a large ridge surrounded by acres of mature hardwood trees. A logging road is available for foot travel from Stokes Road near the small bridge. No unauthorized vehicles. including ATVs, are allowed on these game lands. Plan on a walk of at least one mile to reach the area described, then if you exit the road be prepared for steep and difficult terrain.
Regulations change
Hunting regulation changes to be aware of:
– You are now allowed to hunt raccoons with dogs on game lands during small game/deer season. Check specific game lands for hunt dates or closed areas.
– Anyone hunting deer during firearms season, regardless of the weapon, must wear blaze orange.
– Raccoon daily bag limit is three with no possession or season limits.
– Squirrel (gray and red) daily bag limit is eight with no possession or season limits.
– Rabbit daily bag limit is five with no possession or season limit.
– Beaver season is open for firearms or bow and arrow during any open season for the taking of wild animals. Hunters must have permission from the land holder where hunting beaver.
Chronic wasting disease
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking those who hunt in other states to help prevent chronic wasting disease from infiltrating North Carolina’s deer population.
There have been no cases of CWD in North Carolina, but it can be imported. Hunters harvesting deer, elk or moose from states or provinces with CWD should be aware that there are restrictions on carcass parts that can be imported into North Carolina.
Only the following deer, elk or moose carcass parts harvested in states or provinces with CWD are allowed into North Carolina:
– Meat that is cut and wrapped.
– Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
– Meat that has been boned out.
– Caped hides.
– Cleaned skull plates.
– Antlers.
– Cleaned teeth.
– Finished taxidermy products.
Carcass parts or their containers must be labeled with the hunter’s name and address; state or province of origin; date the animal was killed; the hunter’s out-of-state hunting license number; and the destination of the carcass parts or containers.
States with documented cases of CWD include Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. CWD has also been documented in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Education
Upcoming hunter education courses in Rowan County include Friday-Saturday at the Rowan Rescue Squad building, 1140 Julian Road. Start time will be 6 p.m. the first day. Contact Officer J.B. Harrill at 704-637-0717 for more information.
On Nov. 17, 19, 20 a three-night course will be held at the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department on Stokes Ferry Road. Start time will be 6 p.m. each evening. Contact Officer J.S Isley at 704-278-2236.
E-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at huntfishguy66@aol.com.

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