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RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 28) - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a public hearing on Jan. 8 in Dublin at the Bladen Community College auditorium asking for comments on proposed changes to 73 hunting, fishing and trapping regulations.

After hearing public comments at nine such hearings across the state, the 19 Wildlife Resources Commissioners will meet in March and vote on whether or not to adopt the revised rules. If approved, the revised rules will go into effect July 1, 2007.

The Commission is proposing three regulations to help restore river herring populations in North Carolina's coastal rivers by:
Removing dip nets as an allowable Special Fishing Device in coastal rivers and where bow nets have been allowed for use in taking the daily creel limit of shad, establishment of a March 1 to April 30 season.
Discontinuing the use of gill nets in Town Creek located in Brunswick County.
Clarifying the water body boundaries under the Commission's jurisdiction in coastal North Carolina where river herring larger than 6 inches in length may not be taken or possessed.

Of interest to both hunters and citizens in populated areas is a proposal that would establish a voluntary urban archery season for deer, open to cities, towns and villages that choose to participate.

A proposal of interest to bear hunters statewide would establish guidelines related to the prohibition on hunting bear with the aid of a baited site. Public hearing attendees will receive a handout that explains the proposal in greater detail and clarifies some issues related to bear baiting.

Other proposed hunting, fishing and trapping rules changes include:
Open spring wild turkey season on the first Saturday in April through the Saturday the fourth week thereafter on private lands in Bladen, Brunswick, Duplin, Pender, and New Hanover counties.
Allowing bow-and-arrow as a weapon during the muzzleloading deer season.

Additional information on the proposals is available online at

Anyone who is unable to attend the hearings can still be heard. Comments can be submitted online at or in writing to 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701.

All nine public hearings will begin at 7 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

Jan. 8 (Monday)
District 4
Bladen Community College, Auditorium

Jan. 10 (Wednesday)
District 5

Jan.11 (Thursday)
District 6
South Stanly High School

Jan. 16 (Tuesday)
District 8
Heritage Middle School

Jan. 17 (Wednesday)
District 9
Ramsey Center,
Western Carolina Univ.

Jan. 18 (Thursday)
District 7
Starmount High School

Jan. 23 (Tuesday)
District 1
Swain Auditorium

Jan. 24 (Wednesday)
District 2
New Bern

Jan. 25 (Thursday)
District 3
Annex Building,
District Court Room
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