NC Wildlife Commission also seeking input on Sunday hunting options on public lands
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering limited hunting opportunities for alligators in three designated areas of Hyde County this fall.
County officials requested a targeted hunt in areas of Swan Quarter, Fairfield and Engelhard with frequent alligator conflicts. NCWRC staff worked with Hyde County officials to evaluate the request and recommended an addendum to the state’s Alligator Management Plan that would allow counties to request a population reduction hunt for unincorporated areas.
The Commission approved the addendum at their July 12 meeting. Hunt permit applications are available for purchase through Aug. 10. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older and there is an $8 application fee for each of the designated hunt areas.
Applications are only available for purchase online using a Visa or MasterCard, by calling 888-248-6834 or in person at Commission headquarters in Raleigh, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Due to an expected high call volume, online purchases are recommended.
A computerized drawing will award five permits in Swan Quarter, five permits in Fairfield and 10 permits in Engelhard. The permits will be valid from Sept. 1-Oct. 1 in the designated areas around these communities only.
Applicants who are drawn will be required to obtain an alligator hunting license by Monday, Aug. 20. Those who fail to purchase the license by the deadline will forfeit their permit and an alternate applicant will be drawn. An alligator hunting license costs $250 for North Carolina residents and $500 for non-residents.
The limit is one alligator per permit holder. Permittees will be required to complete a harvest survey and allow NCWRC staff to collect biological data from the harvested alligator. More information about application requirements, designated hunt areas and regulations is available online at ncwildlife.org/permithunt.
Comments on Sunday hunting on game lands sought
The NCWRC is seeking participation in an online survey to gauge public opinion on opening 61 select public game lands across the state for Sunday hunting.
The survey will be available through Aug. 31. The game lands under consideration are all either owned by the Wildlife Commission or a cooperator who is interested in the public’s feelings about Sunday hunting.
Among the 31 sites being assessed in the coastal area are the J. Morgan Futch, Lantern Acres, Neuse River, Rhodes Pond, Stones Creek, White Oak River and Whitehall Plantation game lands.
In 1868, hunting on Sundays was prohibited in North Carolina by state law. However, in 2015, legislation was passed removing the absolute prohibition on hunting with firearms on Sunday. In July 2017, the N.C. General Assembly granted public land managers, including the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, authority to implement new options for Sunday hunting on public lands.
Maps of the game lands under consideration, as well as answers to frequently asked questions and access to the survey are available online at ncwildlife.org/Public-Opinion-Survey.
Nature reserve offers free trips
Free public field trips to explore the Rachel Carson Reserve, located on islands across Taylor’s Creek from Beaufort, are being offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays through August. Volunteer naturalists will conduct the outings from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on the designated days.
Participants will have the opportunity to explore and learn about the estuarine habitats that make up the reserve and the coastal species that call the protected islands home. The programs -- three in all -- are free, but reservations are required. To learn more, call 252-220-0779.
Archery tournament scheduled
The Roanoke Archers will host a 3-D archery tournament at their range outside Plymouth, on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, call 252-325-0335.