Outdoors report: Hunters bringing in trophy bucks
The opening week of gun season was a busy one for local hunters as the deer rut was in high gear across the county.
Numerous trophy bucks ranging from large six-pointers to massive 10-pointers have been seen checked in at local Wildlife Service agents.
Hill’s Minnow Farm on Bringle Ferry Road is one of the busiest places in the county on opening days and weekends as successful hunters check in their deer.
More than 220 deer have been checked in so far this season.
Hunting hits its peak during the Thanksgiving holiday.
A quick look at the trophy picture board confirms what many hunters already agree on: the two-buck limit in this portion of the state is starting to produce some really nice bucks.
One extremely impressive deer was taken by David Owens of Pooletown. It had a spread more than 21 inches wide. Several other bucks with heavy main frames and large tines were also checked in.
A good number of young hunters have been successful, with deer ranging from small does to trophy eight-pointers. The current rutting activity will most likely last another two weeks. gradually slowing down then peaking again in December.
Law enforcement activity
Wildlife officers have been busy working with sportsmen and landowners to apprehend game law violators. Hunter trespass is one of the most common calls received by officers, followed by illegal dumping of deer carcasses, spotlighting deer and road hunting.
Opening morning of muzzle-loader season found Senior Officer J.B Harrill and several other officers in a remote section of Gold Hill with “Buckshot,” the mechanical deer. Several legal hunters observed and continued to drive past “Buckshot,” who was in a field off the roadway.
At about 5:20 a.m., a lone hunter in a pickup truck saw “Buckshot” and slid to a stop. With the headlights shining and “Buckshot” frozen in the glare, the suspected poacher fired one well placed .50-caliber shot to the shoulder. He later said that seeing that buck had caused him to lose all sense and he knew better, but just couldn’t help himself.
Later the same morning, another suspected poacher was up a tree in a homemade stand. As officers approached, he attempted to hide, dropping his gun, which hit the ground, barrel first. After Officer Harrill removed the three buckshot shells from the shotgun, about two inches of wood from the tree root was noticed lodged in the end of the gun barrel.
Another suspected violator was located nearby in another stand with a shotgun loaded with buckshot. Both were charged with hunting in closed season with an illegal firearm and face an upcoming court date.
Officers have investigated and charged suspected violators for taking more than the daily limit of deer, failing to validate and register big game, and various trespassing violations.
To report violations, call toll free 1-800-662-7137 or contact your local Wildlife Enforcement officer:
– Senior Officer J.B Harrill, Salisbury, 704-637-0717.
– Master Officer J.S. Isley, Cleveland, 704-278-2236.
– Senior Officer B.R. Perkins, Denton, 336- 859-1891.
– Sgt. A.P. Sharum, 704-239-0850.
Disposing of carcasses
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reminds hunters that local ordinances are in effect for the handling and disposal of game carcasses and other animal remains.
State law prohibits the dumping of dead wildlife and remnants on roadways, right-of-ways or on private property without the landowner’s consent. Doing so is littering. If apprehended, an offender is charged with a misdemeanor and faces fines up to $2,000.
In most counties and municipalities, a portion of the local landfill is designated to safely and sanitarily receive such byproducts. In hunting areas and game lands, where allowed, game carcasses can be buried at a depth of at least 2 feet and thoroughly covered by earth and stone. Hunt clubs often provide members with access to lime-filled pits.
Hunter responsibility and ethics are taught as part of the statewide hunter education program, with courses offered free and required for first-time hunting license buyers. For class availability or more hunting information, check www. ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0040.
Proposed ’09 schedules
There will be a public hearing on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Wildlife Resources Commission headquarters, 1751 Varsity Dr., Raleigh, to receive public comment on proposed regulation changes.
The local District 6 public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 8, in Norwood at South Stanly High School.
Before you make final plans to attend these or hearings at other sites, check the Wildlife Resources Commission Web site for current updates, including weather-related rescheduling, at www.ncwildlife.org.
Among the proposed regulation changes that will be discussed is one to include family members of the U.S. Armed Forces on appreciation days, as well as those with physical or mental limitations among those qualified to receive fishing license exemptions during special fishing events.
Another is to include Community Fishing Program waters among those waters where fish size and creel limits that differ from statewide regulations are posted.
One would reduce the number of grass carp that can be taken by bow and arrow from Lake James, Lookout Shoals, Lake Norman, Mountain Island, Lake Gaston, and Roanoke Rapids Lake from two to one fish per day. The justification is this proposal would further restrict harvest of grass carp stocked for vegetation control while providing limited bowfishing opportunities.
E-mail Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources at email@example.com.