I think I understand national and state parks, national and state forests and even greenways. Every once in a while, the North Carolina Wildlife Commission makes news.
Every state has a Wildlife Commission, though the group may be called something else. The state group makes hunting, fishing and trapping regulations on all lands that can be hunted, including national and state forests and even private lands.
Carolina Mountain Club hikes in the Green River Gamelands in Polk County, a few times a year, including our traditional New Years Day Hike. The last couple of years, we encountered hunters at the trail head on New Year’s Day, but they disappeared as soon as we got on the trail.
Now the Wildlife Commission is proposing changes to bear and deer hunting season. It’s not easy to understand. But I do understand one thing: the gun season will be lengthened. While some hunters are opposing some overlap between deer and bear season, I see that between black powder season and regular gun season, hunting season will be from October 1 to the first Sunday in January.
Wait… to clarify hunting on Sunday is only permitted on private land, obviously with the permission on the land owner. We, hikers, shouldn’t be on private land anyway.
And for more clarification, hunting is never allowed in national parks or North Carolina state parks. So for most Western North Carolina hikers, the area of concern is Pisgah National Forest, but that’s a big area.
Are you still with me? If you want to weight in on these potential changes, the Wildlife Commission will be holding public hearings on Tuesday January 16 at Haywood Community College in Clyde at 7 pm.
Or you can send in your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org until February 1.
If anyone has comments about these new rules, I’d love to hear them.