Bear hunting proposals adopted by state commission
The action came during the regularly scheduled Wildlife Commissioners' meeting to consider wildlife management, game lands and fishing regulations for the 2014-15 seasons.
The adopted fishing and hunting regulations will take effect Aug. 1, 2014.
The adopted bear hunting proposals will help maintain a healthy bear population in North Carolina, according to David Cobb, the commission's chief wildlife biologist.
The recommendations were the direct result of the state's 10-year Black Bear Management Plan (< http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Learning/documents/Species/Bear/Black%20Bear%20Management%20Plan_2012-2022.pdf>), which utilizes science-based decision making, biologically sound management principles and public input to guide the decision process, according to a commission spokesman.
The Wildlife Commission held district public hearings in January and an open comment period that ended Feb. 14 on all conservation proposals.
The commission also held a series of regional public meetings in October 2013 to discuss the Black Bear Management Plan specifically, which included the possibility of creating a Piedmont bear hunting season.
The decision on the use or aid of unprocessed foods corrects a previous inequity between hunters with hounds and still hunters. In past seasons, bear hunters could release hounds at or near sites containing unprocessed food products, but still hunters were prohibited from taking a bear in an area containing bait.
For more information on North Carolina's black bears and hunting regulations, as well as bear research and management, visit http://www.ncwildlife.org/bear>" rel='external'> http://www.ncwildlife.org/bear<http://www.ncwildlife.org/bear>.
Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state's fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input.
The commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities.
To learn more, visit http://www.ncwildlife.org.
Get N.C. Wildlife Update: News including season dates, bag limits, legislative updates and more can be delivered free to your Inbox from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/enews.