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RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 28) - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a public hearing on Jan. 11 in Norwood at South Stanley High School 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.

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:
Allowing bow-and-arrow as a weapon during the muzzleloading deer season.
Implement a two-buck bag limit for those areas within the Central Deer Season currently under a four-buck bag limit.
Define a field trial participant as a Judge, Handler, Scout or Owner. Other persons attending a field trial will be observers and will not need a hunting license.
Establishing an 8-inch minimum size limit and a 20 fish-per-day creel limit of black and white crappie in all public fishing waters west of Interstate 77, coastal rivers and waters east of I-95 with the exception of Tar River Reservoir in Nash County and Sutton Lake in New Hanover County.

Additional information on the proposals is available online at www.ncwildlife.org.

Anyone who is unable to attend the hearings can still be heard. Comments can be submitted online at www.ncwildlife.org 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
Dublin
Bladen Community College, Auditorium

Jan. 10 (Wednesday)
District 5
Graham
Courthouse

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

Jan. 16 (Tuesday)
District 8
Valdese
Heritage Middle School

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

Jan. 18 (Thursday)
District 7
Boonville
Starmount High School

Jan. 23 (Tuesday)
District 1
Edenton
Swain Auditorium

Jan. 24 (Wednesday)
District 2
New Bern
Courthouse

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