Hunter Education course offered

The N.C. Hunter Education course, required for all newly-licensed hunters, will be offered Aug. 26 at the Half Moon Volunteer Fire Department in Jacksonville from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no charge for the instruction but preregistration is required. Youth under age 12 must be accompanied by a supervising adult. To sign up or get more information, log onto www.ncwildlife.org and click on the “Hunter Education Courses” scrolling tab at the bottom of the home page.

Summer Slam Fishing Tournament coming up

The second annual Summer Slam Fishing Tournament, hosted by the New Bern High School Women’s Volleyball Program, will be held on the Neuse River and its tributaries on August 24-25.

The event, which will take place out of Lawson’s Creek Park in New Bern, will be a team competition in which anglers will try to catch the largest aggregate of an “inshore slam” – 1 red drum, 1 spotted sea trout and 1 flounder, as well as the  verall “lunker” fish.

Cash prizes, based on the number of entries, will be awarded. In addition, there will be a variety of other prizes including Costa sunglasses, gift certificates to area businesses, fishing tackle, a kayak donated by Neuse River Bait and Tackle, and

more. There will be a captains’ meeting in the New Bern High School auditorium at 6 p.m. on Aug. 24. Fishing will be from sunrise till 4 p.m. on Aug. 25. Early registration is $125 per boat; $150 at the captains’ meeting.

Registration can be completed and additional information found online at http://summerslam2018.itemorder.com.

All proceeds from the event will support the New Bern High School Women’s Volleyball Program. Additional details are available from Heidi Ricks at 252-514-6077.

Duck numbers down but populations healthy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has released its report on 2018 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June by the FWS and Canadian Wildlife Service.

Overall duck numbers in the survey area remain high. Total populations were estimated at 41.2 million breeding ducks in the traditional survey area, 13 percent lower than last year’s estimate of 47.3 million but 17 percent above the long-term average. Mallard, gadwall, blue-winged teal and green-winged teal numbers appear to be down from last year but American wigeon show an increase.

According to Ducks Unlimited scientist Tom Moorman, the decrease in some species is thought to be a result of a dry spring in the nesting areas this spring.

NRA chapter events

Friends of the NRA (National Rifle Association) chapters will host their annual membership banquets in several local communities in coming weeks.

Proceeds from the events support the NRA Foundation that funds firearm and safety-related public service programs, including firearms education, training and safety; competitive shooting; hunting and conservation; community outreach; range

improvement projects; historical education; and general shooting programs.

Organizations that benefit from that support include the Boy Scouts, 4-H, FFA, N.C. Hunters for the Hungry and others. Hunters Safety Teams in schools in Craven, Onslow, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico and other counties receive critical grants.

Upcoming Friends of the NRA chapter events include:

8/25/18 – Coastal Carolina Chapter at Jacksonville Country Club in Jacksonville; contact Brenda Laskowski at 910-526-2492 or Brenda.laskowski@yahoo.com

9/8/18 – Crystal Coast Chapter at the Crystal Coast Civics Center in Morehead City; contact Hoke Page at 252-347-7808 or hokepage@live.com

9/13/18 – Twin Rivers Chapter at Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern; contact Mike Hearnes at 252-259-4615 or mike@hearnesjewlry.com

All of the Friends of the NRA events begin at 6 p.m. and include a social hour and a catered dinner as well as live auctions, silent auctions, various games and a lot of good fun.