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Deer hunting season opens in Polk County Nov. 19

Season ends Dec. 8

by Samantha Hurst

Deer hunting opens in Polk County Monday without the extended season some hunters had hoped for last year. Despite a unanimous vote by Polk County commissioners last October to extend the deer hunting season in Polk County by two weeks, the state regulatory commission has not approved the change.

Toby Jenkins, North Carolina Wildlife Officer for Polk County, wants to make sure hunters are clear on the rules before they head out into the woods.

“My phone has been flooded with calls from hunters wanting to know if Polk County has an extended season this year,” Jenkins said. “The fact that the commissioners passed the resolution did not change the law. The law must be changed at the state level for it to take effect. This process takes longer and must be presented at public hearings and big game committees.”

The N.C. Rules and Review Commission did change Polk County to a moderate deer season classification from conservative classification last year. When this occurred it was assumed the change would give Polk County the same rules as Rutherford and Cleveland counties, which allow hunting an additional two weeks in December.

The change however did not align Polk County rules with Rutherford and Cleveland counties’. Instead it simply allows gun hunters to take a doe during the first six days of the season on private lands, in addition to the last six days of the season on private lands. All other dates gun hunters can only take bucks, Jenkins said.