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  • NC Hunting Regulations

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    I was wondering what individuals views were on the regulations in place in our state such as buck harvest. Should this be one instead of two in the western part of the state and maybe two in the east? Should there be antler restrictions on the buck allowable for harvest in order to increase to the average buck age harvested from 2.5 to a 4.5? I believe the wildlife commission has it correct on the amount of doe tags allowed in order to keep deer numbers in check, now what about quality?
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    Re: NC Hunting Regulations
    In the Northwest deer season we are allowed 2 bucks. I agree with that amount of tags. I can hunt one trophy and still have a tag to spare if I see an injured buck or have a cull buck I want to take out. I have seen the average age and quality of bucks in my area improve over the last 10 years but I would like to see the average age of our bucks increase even further. In my opinion the best way to do this would be to stop the artificial baiting of deer during season. I am all for helping the deer herd in the off-season with minerals. I would dare say the largest portion of our immature bucks are killed at a 'corn pile'. If artificial baiting were not allowed you would immediately see many more young bucks make it through the season. While hunting, I believe you would see more natural deer movement instead of the skiddish creatures we become accustomed to once people start venturing into the woods to put out their bait. Also, should baiting be taken out of the equation the focus would shift towards improving habitat to get more game to stay there. Improving habitat has long term positive results and that is how we'll see the quality of deer in NC continue to improve.
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    Re: NC Hunting Regulations
    WOW!! Excellent question. A very LOADED question, but a good one.
    First, let me say keep the legislators out of it. More legislators=more legislation=more regulations=more restrictions=more fines=more TAXES=less freedom, less choice. I believe the current regulations in place are sufficient to sustain and support deer population growth and management.
    Second, speaking of choice. It is by choice that there are so many immature deer killed each year and not because of a 'pile of corn.' Each hunter chooses when or when not to pull the trigger, not because there is 'artificial bait' on the ground. Granted many hunters choose to shoot small deer and not think of the consequences that will have on a deer herd. This year I may have put out about 600+ lbs of corn including minerals such as trophy rock and have killed 0 deer on a 'pile of corn.' In fact, trail cam pics show that deer are more likely to be on a pile of corn between dusk and dawn. I killed a 7pt and a 10 pt(140'rough green score) by doing my home work, learning their habits, the habitat and by being in the right place at the right time. As far as 'artificial baiting' goes, setting the buffet/food plot with mixed greens and salads is one in the same. That is, you are putting something there that is not indigenous to that area to attract, lure and harvest a deer. It's by choice, bad decisions to shoot small deer that is the issue, not the choice to bait or not to bait.
    Also, you have the issue of hunting with dogs. Most dog hunters and hunting clubs I know or have been a part of will shoot anything that is front of the dogs, period! They practice 0 deer management. I'll let S Prevette handle that argument.
    Lastly, that is why I chose to lease a piece of property myself. I use some form of deer management, I learned how to age deer and have decided not to shoot anything under 3yrs of age. It is a hard choice to look at a 2 1/2 yr old 9pt and let him walk when he might not make it through another season.(i.e. get hit by a car, killed by another hunter on the neighboring property or be pushed out by dogs) However, the choice to wait was well worth it. Like they say, 'let'em go, let'em grow.' Personally, It's a matter of choice and the choice made is a reflection of the heart of the hunter.

    Congrats to everyone for a good year(OH, I thought EHD was an issue last year impacting this year, the pics tell a different story.BTW all those acorns last year were good to the bucks this year.lol)

    Good Hunting
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    Wildlife study results
    NC Wildlife Resources just released a new study: go to www.ncwildlife.org/deerstudy
    Interesting numbers on the average age of bucks being taken now.
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    Re: NC Hunting Regulations
    I think NC should do like Ohio and have and change it to a one buck tag per season statewide. In my opinion that would make a Hunter think twice before they harvest a young buck that hasn't matured. Ohio has 150in and bigger deer everywhere and is one of the top states in the country for big bucks and they havnt got that title out of pure luck,they just know how to properly manage.
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    Re: NC Hunting Regulations
    I would really like to see a reduction in the # of buck tags in the eastern part of the state. Maybe just maybe more hunters would start taking out some of the doe population and letting smaller bucks walk. Wildlife biologist told me that the ratio is so far out of hand that it would take 4 seasons of just killing does to get it even. Yes 4 seasons of just doe kills and no buck kills. Just look at the harvest #'s of states like Ohio and Texas.
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    Re: NC Hunting Regulations
    Thanks for all of the responses. There are lots of different views but the one thing we all have in common is we want to see a change in the quality / age of the deer we hunt.
    I believe the best way to accomplish this without having legislation in place is to take every moment to relay good management practices to other hunters and beginning hunters.
    I also hunt in the north western part of NC and I think you may be able to keep the two buck tags but only with a three points one one side rule for both bucks. One buck tag would be better because of it would force legal hunters to be choose if they want to harvest a certain buck or wait for another. One good thing that has happened in my area was the outbreak of ehd a few years ago.Yes I said that. It brought the buck to doe ratio in check and lowered deer density, resulting in more intense rut activity.
    I personally do not bait and am not bothered by anyone that does. If can be useful to hold doe in an area and then hunt around the area but not directly over it. Especially during the rut. I believe food plots are a better options depending on what's planted and where. They have deer more nutrition they need throughout the year and last a whole season without spreading scent and changing deer movement when hunting.
    I would like to see deer in our woods like they have in Ohio but that is a different subspecies. Not to say that we do not have great genetics in NC that we could improve upon. Take for example all the fine bucks posted to bag-a-buck. I would wager that a high percentage of these are 3 and older.
    Again thanks for the responses and these are only my opinions. Happy hunting
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    Re: NC Hunting Regulations
    I'm as conservative as anyone else but yeah, the bottom line is YOU have the power (for the most part) to manage your own herd the way you see fit unless you hunt public land and if that's the case, just enjoy taking what's there - which in any cases can be some very quality bucks if you do your homework and hunt the rite spots..

    I grew up in PA, still have lots of family there and believe me; when legislation gets TOO involved, the hunter gets left out of the equation.

    I don't think you have to change harvest limits in order to create bigger bucks; management is the key and of course there's soil content, genetics, etc... I doubt there is a county in NC where there isn't a 130' deer to harvest so if your focus is on quality, get off your butt and go find it (may include leasing your own ground or pound the pavement to gain access to good private ground) but don't ask for legislation to do it for you.
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