Onslow County DU Banquet


The Onslow County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited (DU) will host its inaugural membership banquet in Jacksonville on Saturday, Feb. 29 beginning with a social hour at 5:30 p.m.


The event, which will be at Hilton Garden Inn on Jacksonville Parkway, will feature a catered dinner, refreshments, silent auctions, a live auction, raffles, various games and a lot of fun. Tickets ($50/single, $80/couples, $30/youth 17; under) will include a year’s membership in Ducks Unlimited.


Sponsorship tickets are also available. All proceeds from the banquet will go to support DU’s wildlife habitat efforts. For tickets or more information, contact Ricky Manley at 850-380-9804 or Jay Tansy at 305-725-0493.


Support wildlife at tax time


North Carolinians will have an opportunity to help the state’s wildlife when they complete their 2019 income tax forms.


By making a “tax check-off” donation to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund found on line 30 of their N.C. state form, they will help fund programs that benefit sea turtles, songbirds and other wildlife species without a designated hunting and fishing season.


Although the income tax check-off donations target projects benefiting nongame animals and their habitats, game species such as deer, turkey and bear also benefit because these animals live in many of the same habitats.


Donations make up the largest and most significant source of non-federal funding to help these animals so donations of any amount are critical to the continuation of many projects.


Bluefish limit changing


According to a release from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), the creel limit for bluefish caught by recreational anglers decreased as of Feb. 1 in North Carolina coastal waters.


The creel limit dropped to three fish per person, per day for anglers fishing from the shore, piers, private vessels, or in any way other than with a for-hire operation. Recreational fishermen on for-hire vessels (charter boats, head boats, guide boats) can possess up to five bluefish per person, per day.


Previously the limit had been no more than 15 bluefish of any length per person and no more than 5 greater than 24 inches in total length. The current DMF proclamation makes no mention of a size limit.


The creel limit reduction complies with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Bluefish Fishery Management Plan. It is intended to reduce the coast-wide recreational harvest from Maine to Florida by 28.6% to prevent exceeding the 2020 recreational harvest limit.


CCA Banquet Scheduled


The Neuse River Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will hold their annual banquet on Thursday, March 5 at the New Bern Shrine Club on South Glenburnie Rd. in New Bern.


There will be live and silent auctions; raffles of a wide variety of outdoor gear, artwork, trips and jewelry; a delicious dinner; an open bar and more. The evening will kick off at 6 p.m. with a social hour followed by dinner.


Tickets, which include a year’s membership in CCA and the organization’s magazine, are $80 for individuals and $130 for couples. Corporate tables are also available. All proceeds will go toward the preservation and wise management of our state’s coastal resources.


Tickets are available from Donald Willis at 252-670-3853, Tim Hergenrader at 252-745-9123, David Blythe at 252-617-7717 or the CCA office at 919-781-3474.


Hunter Education courses


The N.C. Wildlife Commission’s Hunter Education Course, required of all newly licensed hunters, will be offered on Sunday, March 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Neuse Sport Shop in Cedar Point.


It will also be offered on Sunday, March 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Volunteer Fire Department in Maysville. There is no charge for the course but preregistration is required. For more information or to sign up, go online to www.ncwildlife.com and click on the scrolling Hunter Education banner at the bottom of the home page.


Hunting Seasons


Quail: through Feb. 29


Raccoon, Opossum, Rabbit, Grouse, Bobcat, Gray Squirrel: through Feb. 29


Nutria, Coyote; Feral Swine: no closed season


Commercial Hunting Preserves: through March 31


Wild Turkey: April 11 through May 9 (male birds only); Youth Season Apr. 4 – 10 (only youth under the age of 18).