The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission set the 2013-14 waterfowl seasons at its meeting on Aug. 29 in Raleigh, splitting the duck season into the usual three parts and offering hunters every opportunity allowed under the federal season framework.
The Commission set the duck seasons as Oct. 2-5, Nov. 9-30 and Dec. 14-Jan. 25, with a six-duck daily bag limit, with certain species restrictions: no more than four mallards (two hens), four scoters, two scaup, two pintails, three wood ducks, two canvasbacks, two redheads, one fulvous whistling duck and one black duck or mottled duck. Black and mottled ducks can not be hunted until Nov. 23.
Coots and mergansers will have the same seasons, with coots having a daily bag limit of 15, and mergansers a daily bag limit of five, with no more than two hooded mergansers.
Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 will be youth-only waterfowl days.
Sea duck hunting will be Oct. 2-Jan. 31 in the sea duck area, with a daily bag limit of seven (no more than four scoters).
Dark geese (Canada and white-fronted) can be hunting Oct. 2-12, Nov. 9-30 and Dec. 14-Feb. 8 in the resident zone, Oct. 2-30 and Nov. 9-Dec. 31 in the SJBP zone, and Jan. 10-25 in the northeast zone (by permit only). The daily bag limit in the resident and SJBP zones is five; it’s one in the northeast zone.
The season for light geese (snow, blue, Ross) is Oct. 16-19 and Nov. 9-March 8. The daily bag limit is 25, with electronic calls and unplugged shotguns allowed.
Hunters targeting brant geese may take two birds per day from Dec. 23-Jan. 25. The permit-only tundra swan season is Nov. 9-Jan. 31. Each permitted hunter (5,000 permits are available) can take one swan.
In other action at its meeting, two new commissioners were sworn in: Tommy Fonville of Raleigh and Tim Spear of Creswell. Appointed by Senate president Tom Tillis and House speaker Phil Berger, respectively, they’ll serve two-year terms.
Tillis and Berger have appointed four commissioners each -- several were previous members of the Commission. Gov. Pat McCrory has made three: re-appointing John Litton Clark of Clinton, this time to a six-year term as District 4 commissioner, and re-appointing John T. Coley IV of Holly Spring and V. Ray Clifton of Clarkton to four-year at-large terms. Clark was elected vice-chairman at the meeting. McCrory still has two appointments to make: District 1 (Northeast North Carolina) and District 7 (Northwest North Carolina).
The Commission also voted to continue attempts to purchase five tracts of land for inclusion in the Game Lands program: the 178-acres Capel tract in Montgomery County; the 524-acres Humpback Mountain tract in Avery and McDowell counties; the 38-acre Duvall tract in Macon County; and tracts in Clay County and Bertie County for boating-access areas on the Hiwassee and Roanoke rivers.