Bear sanctuary hunting rule now up to legislators

A new rule allowing bear hunting in three Western North Carolina sanctuary areas currently off-limits to the practice might not take effect following an April 21 vote from the N.C. Rules Review Commission.

Bear hunting approved for sanctuary areas

In a unanimous vote Feb. 24, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission approved a controversial rule change  that will rename the state’s 22 designated bear sanctuaries to “designated bear management units” and allow bear hunting in three of them.

Balance of bear country: Wildlife Commission takes input on future of WNC bear sanctuaries

Nearly 40 people weighed in on a controversial proposal to allow bear hunting in three mountain sanctuary areas during a Jan. 20 virtual public hearing  before the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

A shift for sanctuaries: Wildlife Commission considers opening new areas to bear hunting

With already record-high bear populations continuing robust growth in Western North Carolina, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing a controversial measure to control them: allowing bear hunting in three bear sanctuaries where it’s currently off-limits. 

Tribal Council balks at ‘no hunting’ request for Hall Mountain

Despite an impassioned plea for immediate action from the tribe’s Natural Resource Department, the Cherokee Tribal Council voted unanimously last month to table a resolution that would temporarily prohibit hunting on a 138-acre property in Macon County. 

A look back at 2016: Backcountry adventures, birthday celebrations and a wildfire season to remember

For those who love the outdoors, it’s not hard to list the reasons why Western North Carolina is a spectacular place to live, and from that standpoint, the year 2016 certainly didn’t fail to deliver. The curtains are now closing on 2016, but the year will get its proper send-off with this roundup of favorite moments and memorable stories from the past 12 months outdoors.

No elk allowed: Two-mile fence keeps elk off dairy farm following winter shooting of seven animals

These days, bovines — not elk — are the only cows wandering around the Ross dairy farm in Jonathan Creek.

Growing elk population triggers landowner conflicts, land conservation efforts

Elk may be the most polarizing animal in Western North Carolina right now, but William Carter has kept a closer eye on the issue than most. Carter makes his living off a small mountain farm in the Jonathan Creek area, sharing a property line with the Ross dairy farm — that family’s elk-related struggles have earned them plenty of unwanted time in the local spotlight. 

SEE ALSO: Two-mile fence keeps elk off dairy farm following winter shooting of seven animals

As the elk population has grown, Carter’s found himself wondering what the future holds for his acres of beans, pumpkins and cattle pasture.

Elk hearing draws a crowd

A minor adjustment to elk depredation rules brought 70 people — about 40 of them college students — out to Haywood Community College last week for a public hearing with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Cherokee council votes to extend dog running season

fr dogsrunningBear hunters on the Qualla Boundary may be able to run their dogs through tribal reserve land for a full half year following contentious discussion and a divided vote in Cherokee Tribal Council this month. 

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