RALEIGH, N.C. – Despite continuing drought conditions, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding the public that no changes have been made to upcoming hunting seasons.

"Although we are planning no changes to the upcoming hunting seasons with respect to the current drought, we do urge hunters to use extraordinary caution while afield due to the current dry conditions and the extreme potential for wildfire," said David Cobb, chief of the Wildlife Management Division.

In past drought years, the Commission has received numerous calls asking if hunting seasons would be cancelled or altered due to prolonged dry weather. This season, as in those of the past, no changes are planned. While some outdoor opportunities – such as waterfowl hunting – may be negatively impacted by drought conditions, such seasons will remain open.

However, the Commission does urge hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts to use extreme caution during dry weather. While campfires and cigarette butts are obvious wildfire threats, muzzleloader rifles, a vehicle's catalytic converter (which gets extremely hot and can set dry grasses ablaze) and general carelessness also pose risks.