The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved two temporary rules that apply to black bear hunting.

The first temporary rule will move the black bear hunting seasons in Brunswick and Columbus counties to the second Monday in November to January 1, which should increase hunting opportunities without negatively impacting the bear population.

As amended, the second temporary rule will extend the time that bears can be taken with the aid of unprocessed food as bait to the entire open season with the exception of the western part of the state. The Commission will allow baiting for the first segment of the western bear season (Oct. 17 – Nov. 19), but not at all during the second segment (Dec. 12 – Jan. 2).

In early February, the Commission voted to start the temporary rulemaking process for black bear hunting. Public comments were collected both electronically and from five public hearings from across the state. The deadline to submit comments was April 12. The process for permanent rules for black bear are ongoing.