NC Wildlife Commission hears input on proposed changes

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is considering changes to wildlife regulations.

One proposal would extend the archery season for hunting deer from mid-December until Jan. 1. It would start right after the last day of gun season.

“Our goal is to have the sportsmen harvest the more mature animals that are out rutting during that time,” Lt. Andrew Helton, with the Wildlife Resources Commission, said.

“It gives more people time in the woods, gets kids involved. Their parents will be able to take them on Christmas break, get to take them hunting,” Dustin Hayes, with Shed’s Hunting Supply in Sylva, said.

Another proposal redefines the age of young hunters.

“In years past, it was anybody under the age of 16 could participate in these youth hunts. So, what we're doing is we're giving youth two more years. So, it's under the age of 18,” Helton said.

A fishing proposal clarifies the rules on Lake Calderwood that straddles Graham County and Tennessee.

“The old rules were you could fish on the banks, but you had to have a North Carolina license,” Helton said. “Now, we're going to accept Tennessee and North Carolina licenses there.”

And a new regulation would establish nearly 2,000 acres near Maggie Valley as game land.

Comments collected Tuesday night at a public hearing at Haywood Community College will be taken into account.

Wildlife commissioners will meet next month to decide whether to adopt the proposals. Any approved changes will take affect Aug. 1.

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