Wildlife Commission seeks comments on new rules

Among the rules being considered by the WRC are a clarification of trapping laws on gamelands.
Among the rules being considered by the WRC is a clarification of trapping laws on gamelands.

Outdoors enthusiasts have until Feb. 1 to review and comment on a series of proposed changes to hunting, trapping, fishing and gamelands rules.

 The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will accept comments through Feb. 1 on the handful of changes, which can be found at ncwildlife.org/proposed-regulations.

Comments may be submitted online, emailed to regulations@ncwildlife.org (must include name, phone number and mailing address in e-mail) or mailed to: Rule-Making Coordinator, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1700. The public can also provide comments at one of the public hearings the Commission will conduct in January. 

Due to the pandemic, only three in person hearings will be held, in Raleigh, Marion and New Bern. The Jan. 21 hearing, however, will be held online. 

Among the proposals being considered are

• New authority that allows the WRC to close gamelands and facilities due to emergencies, such as hurricanes, flooding or dangerous weather.

• Finalizing removal of a section of the Brunswick county gamelands, at the request of the owner.

• Clarifying a 1970s rule that could be interpreted as prohibiting the trapping of coyotes, armadillos and groundhogs on gamelands during the regular trapping season (Nov. 1-March 31).

• Prohibit the possession or ownership of African Longfin Eel, Creole Painted Crayfish, Bigclaw Crayfish, Marbled Crayfish or Marmorkrebs, Applesnail, Olive Mysterysnail, European Eel, Oriental Weatherfish, Brown Hoplo, Yellow Bass, Shortfin Eel, Crucian Carp, Prussian Carp, European Perch, European Minnow, and Amur Sleeper to the list of species for which it is unlawful to transport, purchase, possess, sell or stock in the public or private waters of North Carolina. 

• Allow sling bows for deer as well as wild turkey, small game animals, nongame animals, and nongame fish. Request have been made to consider allowing the use of sling bows for deer. These weapons are legal and successfully used in other states and some hunters have generated an interest in allowing them to hunt deer in North Carolina.

• Allow for the creation of Wild Quail Management areas to be managed for the propagation of bobwhite quail.

• Allow the use of remote trap checking systems as approved by the WRC.

Log onto the WRC website for more information about these and other proposed rule changes.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@ColumbusCountyNews.com.