Wanna step outside? Commission changes Western Section deer season dates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

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By Dan Kibler

For the Clemmons Courier

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has voted to adopt a handful of new regulations for the 2024-25 hunting and fishing season, and its Rules Review Commission has approved them.

The commission voted to shift the blackpowder and gun seasons for deer in the Western Deer Section. Under the new schedule, black powder season will begin two Saturdays before Thanksgiving and run until gun season, which will begin the Saturday after Thanksgiving and run through Jan. 1.

The change will also shift the week-long and one-day blackpowder antlerless seasons to begin the second Saturday of the season. In the Western Section, Youth Days will be designed as Thanksgiving Day and the next day — youth under 18 can use any lawful weapon to harvest deer on those days.

The commission approved a proposal to create a Small Game Focal Area on the Wayne Bailey/Caswell Game Lands. The area would be a draw, permit-only area for quail and woodcock hunting and a point-of-sale permit-only area for rabbit and squirrel outside the normal three days-per-week framework.

The commission also voted to remove the Wild Trout Waters/Natural Bait Waters classification from public mountain trout waters designations.

The commission voted to include crimes related to inland fisheries for its Wildlife Poacher Reward Program, which rewards sportsmen who turn in poachers.

The commission’s annual rule-making schedule has been altered to better align with the N.C. General Assembly’s legislative calendar. In the future, proposed rule changes will be presented in June, with virtual public hearings held in August. Previously, proposed rule changes were presented in August, discussed at public hearings in January and adopted in January.

Raleigh bass pro cashes huge check

A pro bass fisherman from Raleigh, Mike Corbishley, is $100,000 richer after winning the second stage of the National Professional Fishing League’s bass circuit this past Saturday at Lake Hartwell on the Georgia-South Carolina line.

Corbishley outfished a field of 123 pros over three days or largely post-spawn fishing on Hartwell, catching 5-fish limits weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces, 17-7 and 14-1. His total of 44 pounds, 1 ounce, beat runner-up Hunter Sales of Tennessee by a pound-and-a-half.

Corbishley is in his third season on the NFPL tour, having been the top tour rookie in 2022 and finishing sixth in the Angler of the Year standings in 2023. A top college fisherman at East Carolina, he graduated from the school in 2016.

Two other North Carolina pros finished in the money at Hartwell. David Williams of Maiden was 19th with 15 bass weighing 35-15, and Josh Hooks of Apex was 30th with 32-15.

Three NC pros take home big BASS checks

Three bass pros from North Carolina finished in the money at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on South Carolina’s Lake Murray two weeks ago.

Matt Arey of Shelby finished 21st with 15 bass weighing 50 pounds, 9 ounces, earning $10,000. Hank Cherry Jr. of Maiden was 32nd with 15 bass weighing 47-15, also winning $10,000. Shane LeHew of Catawba was 40th with 15 bass weighing 26-9, taking home $10,000.

Angler Patrick Walters of Summerville, South Carolina, won the tournament and $102,000 with a 4-day total of 20 bass weighing 93-15.