Black bear hunting changes

By Mike Zlotnicki

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission approved hunting regulations in February for 2014-’15 that include establishment of a bear-hunting season in the Piedmont and allowing the aid or use of unprocessed foods for bear hunting on private lands as long as the bear is not actually consuming the unprocessed foods.

The action, announced in a commission news release, 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 August 1, 2014.

The adopted bear hunting proposals will help maintain a healthy bear population in North Carolina, said Dr. David Cobb, the commission’s chief wildlife biologist. The recommendations were the direct result of the state’s 10-year Black Bear Management Plan, which uses science-based decision making, biologically sound management principles and public input to guide the decision process.

The Wildlife Commission held district public hearings in January and an open comment period that ended February 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 stationary or “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, go to www.ncwildlife.org/bear.

Bass tournament results

Seventy-four boats braved bad winter weather and slick roads to compete in the Boats Unlimited N.C. Team Tournament held March 8 out of Farrington Point at Jordan Lake. The lake level rose almost 2 feet during the course of the tournament. Only 28 fish were weighed in for a total of 104 pounds. The results were as follows:

  1. Todd Massey of Chapel Hill and Brandon Gray of Bullock; two bass, 12.15 pounds, $1,305.
  2. Manny Lenau of Vass and Brandon Morrissey of Fort Bragg; three bass, 11.53 pounds, $800.
  3. Tony Fofi of Spring Lake and Dave Murdock of Sanford; two bass, 9.38 pounds, $575.
  4. Larry Hipps of Cary and Patrick Arzonico of Raleigh; two bass, 8.01 pounds, $520.
  5. Rodney Hilber of Hillsborough and Kenneth Penderman of Durham, two bass, 7.26 pounds, $463.
  6. Corey Linton and Mark Peck of Pikeville; one bass, 5.52 pounds, $407.
  7. Jim Nichols of Chapel Hill and Jeremy Martin of Rougemont, one bass, 5.07 pounds, $351.
  8. Erik Ross and Les Walters of Fayetteville; two bass, 4.92 pounds, $295.
  9. Tim Goss of Franklinton and Jeff Vincent of Durham; one bass, 4.68 pounds, $239.
  10. Bubba Haywood of Roxboro and Steve Goodwin of Durham; one bass, 4.51 pounds, $239.

For more information about the tournament, contact Phil McCarson, tournament director, at 919-971-5042 or go to piedmontbassclassics.com.