Time is Running Out to Submit Your Comments!
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has opened for public comment proposed regulatory changes to the fishing, hunting, and trapping seasons for 2009-2010. The Commission should be commended for offering what is an unprecedented expansion of hunting opportunities in the Tar Heel State. It is essential that sportsmen submit public comments in support of the proposed changes in order to ensure that they are enacted for the coming season. Some of the proposed changes include:
- Removing the daily bag limit for deer (without changing the season bag limit);
- Dramatically expanding rifle hunting opportunities for deer;
- Extending the current muzzleloading season from one week to two weeks without detracting from the current archery hunting opportunities;
- Establishing a single, uniform deer season on private lands in order to eliminate much of the confusion and complexity associated with the current district-based system; and,
- Expanding hunting opportunities on game lands.
All of the proposed changes can be found by visiting http://www.ncwildlife.org and selecting “2009 Proposed Regulations & Public Hearing Schedule.”
Unfortunately, there have been rumors circulating that NCWRC biologists oppose these changes based on biological concerns. NRA has looked into these claims and has found nothing to substantiate them. The proposed regulatory changes are based on sound biological testing and standards, and Wildlife Management Division Chief Dr. David Cobb, the state’s chief wildlife biologist, has been involved with these proposed changes every step of the way.
The goal of NCWRC, as well as NRA, is to greatly expand hunting opportunities, while continuing to maintain a healthy and sustainable wildlife population. These proposed changes would achieve these critical goals, and are based on sound biological research and practices. Very rarely will you find a situation where such a dramatic change satisfies everyone concerned. Some hunters who pursue only certain species, or use only certain methods, may perceive changes in other areas as potential encroachment on their particular discipline. However, in this case, a great deal of effort has been made to ensure that expansion in one area will not mean contraction in another. No solution regulation is ever going to be considered “perfect” by all, but these proposals strike that delicate balance that will be of the most overall benefit to the most hunters, as well as for the future of hunting in
NRA encourages its members and the hunting community to submit comments supporting the efforts to expand hunting opportunities proposed by the NCWRC. Comments may be conveniently submitted online by going to www.ncwildlife.org and selecting the link to “Submit Comments Online,” or by going directly to the comments page at http://www.ncwildlife.org/ProposedRegulations/Main.aspx. While you may go into as much detail as to why you support these efforts, your message can also be as simple as, “I support the expanded hunting opportunities being proposed for the 2009-10 hunting regulations.”
Comments will be accepted until Sunday, February 1. There is also a schedule for public hearings, which began Monday, January 5, that can be found when you select “2009 Proposed Regulations & Public Hearing Schedule.” NRA encourages members and hunters to attend these hearings to show their support for the NCWRC proposals.
The importance of supportive public comments in this process cannot be overestimated. Remember that the anti-hunting radicals will be submitting comments in opposition to the expanded opportunities!