Bow season opening next week, county could see changes

Published 10:34am Friday, September 9, 2011

The feeling of the air in the mornings and late evenings is starting to hint that fall is around the corner. It is also a reminder that bow and arrow season for white-tailed deer is just around the bend.
Bow season in the western deer season area opens Sept. 12 and runs thru Oct. 1, then reopens from Oct. 17 thru Nov. 19.
Although I lost the desire to bow hunt many years ago, mostly because of warmer temps and too many insects, those who do hunt deer with a bow enjoy it deeply. The extra effort and skill involved in getting close enough to a deer to take one with a bow seems to strike a chord in the heart of the archer.
Growing quickly in popularity, crossbows can now be used during the bow and arrow seasons. Although this doesn’t make bow hunting a “gimmie,” it still is a help in allowing farther shots in most cases and a more mechanical release to make things more consistent.
Antlerless deer may be taken anytime during archery season, with a season limit of six. It gets a little confusing to some on their big game harvest report card, but in the western district you can take as many as six antlerless deer, but if you take antlered deer you can only take two antlered deer per season out of your allowed six deer.
The regulations digest tells of a bonus antlerless deer report card that will allow the holder to take an additional two antlerless deer per card, with an unlimited number of cards available to the hunter.
The NCWRC is considering adding two weeks to the Polk County deer season, taking it from a conservative season to moderate season, the same as Rutherford County. The number of deer harvested in Polk County has risen tremendously in the past 10 years.
The organization will hold a public hearing Sept. 14 at Haywood Technical College. If you are unable to attend the hearing, you may go to: ncpaws.org/PAWS/WRC/PublicComments/PublicaEntry/PublicComments.aspx, scroll down to the hunting section and click on “Add Comment” beside the Polk County hunting regulations and voice your thoughts. Don’t complain if you don’t make your comments known.
I have heard hunters complain for years to have doe days, and after they got them most of them didn’t kill any does anyway. So I don’t think a longer season will hurt the population much, since only a few diehards hunt much after the first week of rifle season anyway.
I am always concerned about the overharvesting of anything, but for the above reasons I don’t feel the deer population will decline.
As always, check your regulations digest or go to www.ncwildlife.org to be certain of seasons, rules, etc.

Rob McComas is a licensed North Carolina fishing guide on Lake Lure  and Lake Jocassee in S.C.  He has been a guide for 11 years and fishing for more than 30. McComas lives with his wife, Amanda, in Sunny View and runs Robs Guide Service. He can be reached at robsguideservice@gmail.com.

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