RALEIGH - North Carolina deer hunters have come to accept a Monday opening of the season, but that traditional opening will change for 2001-2002 in all but the far western region of the state. In regulations adopted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at its March meeting in Raleigh, the eastern, central and northwestern seasons will open on Saturday this season. The western season will continue to open on a Monday.
Proposals to open bear seasons on Saturdays, to create some special permit hunts on bear sanctuaries and to add Van Swamp Game Land to the bear sanctuary program were not adopted by the Commission due to strong opposition voiced at public hearings.
Eastern deer season for bow and arrow will open Sept. 8 and close Oct. 5, muzzle-loading season will be Oct. 6-12 and gun season will be Oct.13-Jan. 1. Central deer season for bow and arrow will be Sept.8-Nov. 2, muzzle-loading season is Nov. 3-9, and gun season is Nov. 10-Jan.1. Northwestern seasons are Sept. 8-Nov. 9 for bow and arrow, Nov.10-16 for muzzle-loading season and Nov. 17-Dec.8 for gun. The Western bow and arrow season is Sept. 10-Oct. 6 and Oct. 15-Nov. 17, the muzzle-loading season is Oct.8-13 and the gun season is Nov. 19-Dec. 8.
Rabbit and quail season will be Nov. 17 through Feb. 28. The daily bag limit for quail will be reduced from eight to six.
In other action, the Commission approved listing the elk as a species of special concern. The elk was brought to western North Carolina through efforts of the National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Under this listing, a person convicted for killing an elk that may move off the Great Smoky Mountain National Park can be fined up to $500 and also can be made to pay a replacement cost for the value of the elk.
For more information, call 919-733-7191 for Game, 919-733-3633 for Fisheries.