Hunters encouraged to be safe, follow guidelines

First Posted: 9/2/2009

LUMBERTON As the September goose hunting season opened Tuesday, a county official reminded hunters to be safe and know the laws.
Raymond Harris, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission wildlife enforcement officer for Robeson County, asked that hunters “not make the opening day memorable by being a tragedy.”
“Remember the No. 1 rule of safety: Treat all firearms as if they were loaded,” Harris said. “No. 2: Never point a gun at anything you do not intend to shoot. Be mindful and respectful of others.”
Also, new laws proposed for the season were not approved by the North Carolina Rules Review Commission.
The laws will go into effect for the 2010-11 season unless state legislators pass a bill to stop them.
“At present, all rules for the 2009-2010 hunting season are as listed in the 2009-2010 regulations digest,” Harris said.
The following rules are not in effect for the 2009-2010 season”
n Require persons harvesting deer through the Deer Management Assistance Program to use tags provided by the commission and report their harvests, whether those deer are antlerless or antlered. Allow harvest of deer on DMAP areas under the big game harvest report card and the bonus antlerless deer harvest report card, where applicable.
n Change the description of where bonus antlerless deer harvest report cards may be used from “private lands” to “lands other than those enrolled in the Commission’s Game Land Program” in order to permit the use of these cards on military installations, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands that are not game lands.
n Remove the daily bag limit for deer.
n Allow hunters to use archery equipment to harvest deer during the muzzleloading firearms season on game lands.
n Shorten the bow season by one week and open the muzzleloader season one week earlier to create a two-week muzzleloader season.
n Deer seasons in the northwestern deer season will be changed so that the regular gun season is extended through Jan. 1. Deer seasons in the eastern, central and western deer season structures will remain unchanged.
n Open all private lands in the eastern, central and northwestern deer seasons to the maximum either-sex deer season.
n Assign all of Moore County to the eastern deer season.
n Allow falconry on Sundays, except for migratory game birds.
n Allow bow hunting on Sundays on private lands only, except for migratory game birds.
n Allow the use of crossbows, without permit, anytime bow and arrows are legal weapons.
n Disallow the selling of live foxes and coyotes taken under a depredation permit to controlled hunting preserves.
n Allow a landowner with a valid depredation permit to give away the edible portions of deer to anyone. Require the recipient to retain a copy of the depredation permit.
n Eliminate the requirement that a landholder must get a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit for the taking of migratory birds before getting a Commission permit to do so.

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