Wildlife Commission OKs elk hunting rules

elkElk hunting could be on the way to becoming legal in North Carolina following the N.C. Wildlife Resource’s Commission unanimous vote in favor of a rule change last week, though any actual season on elk is likely still a good ways in the future. 

Control from the top: WNC hunters attempt to curb coyote populations with hunt

out huntMark Rogers sticks his hand through the cold air outside Bethel Grocery into the even more frigid interior of the standalone freezer settled beside the building along U.S. 276 in Haywood County. There’s a dead coyote inside, folded body hard and rigid through a combination of cold and rigor mortis. Rogers pulls it out into the sunlight, where bright rays bounce shine off its array of red, gray and white hairs.

Here to stay: Coyotes make themselves at home in WNC

out frIt’s been 30 years since Raymond Bunn saw his first coyote, and that moment — Clay County, 1986 — is not one he’s likely to forget. 

“I remember well seeing it,” said Bunn, manager at Shed’s Hunting Supply in Sylva. “When I first seen it, I thought it was a German shepherd dog or something like that, but it was a coyote.”

To hunt or not to hunt: Elk season proposal debated at public hearing

out frShould North Carolina start thinking about a hunting season for elk? 

If the crowd that turned out to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s public hearing last week is any indication, it depends who you ask. Farmers, hunters, biologists, wildlife enthusiasts and everyone in between filled the seats at Haywood Community College’s auditorium, waiting for the chance to give their two cents on the Wildlife Commission’s proposal to pave the way for an elk hunting season in the future.

Charting the future: Wildlife Commission proposes hunting season on elk

coverFifteen years ago, a herd of 52 elk set foot in their new home — the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — for the first time, the start of an experimental attempt to restore the long-absent species to its rightful place in the North Carolina mountains. 

These days, the elk herd is quite a bit larger, with groups of the animals pinching off the original herd in the Cataloochee area and even taking up residence outside park boundaries. In anticipation of the herd’s continued growth, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has come out with a proposal to pave the way for an elk season, putting up the legal framework to make hunting possible once it deems population levels high enough. Often, proposals related to hunting and wildlife management are controversial, but this one appears to have support from a broad spectrum of people representing a range of wildlife and conservation interests.

Elk hunting by permit being debated by wildlife commission

elkAs the elk herd in Western North Carolina continues to grow, an elk-hunting season could become a possibility under a proposal being considered by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Gaming the system: Hunters snared in Operation Something Bruin claim legal proceedings were unjust

fr bruinBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

Hunters accused in a sweeping bear poaching sting in Western North Carolina have turned the tables on wildlife officers and prosecutors, tarnishing an operation that was initially trumpeted as a victorious round-up of rouge hunters.

Bear hunting guide brought down after failing to rein in reckless ‘client’

fr bruinBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

When Chad Arnold pulled into War Paint Kennels during fall bear season in 2011, Jerry Parker pegged him as just another flat-lander willing to fork out big dough to bag a bear.

The bait battle: paw-lickin’ good

out bearbaitThe hunting community and wildlife officers have been engaged in an ongoing tug-of-war over the practice of baiting bears to make them easier to hunt.

With a little help from hunters, wildlife officials hope to curb the exploding bear population in the mountains

out frNorth Carolina has a bear problem, and wildlife officials hope hunters can help.

The population of black bears has been on the rise for decades — it’s more than doubled in the past 20 years alone — and needs to be reined in, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The obvious solution is getting hunters to hunt more of them. The trick, however, is getting the formula right.

SEE ALSO: The bait battle: paw-lickin’ good

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