Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New N.C. Regulations Address Potential Elk and Alligator Seasons


I have already tackled proposals that were coming down the pipe in North Carolina for both alligator and elk hunting seasons in previous columns. On February 11, 2016, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) held votes for rule changes to the regulations, and two of those that came up in the vote were the alligator and elk management.

Public meetings were held in each district throughout the state to gain input from the hunters and non-hunters alike on topics such as these two. In all there were 37 different rule changes brought to the forefront.

Of the rule changes, 34 were approved as taken to public hearings. This means you and I had an active voice in how to approach the potential rule changes. One gameland rule was amended and approved, bringing the total approvals to 35 of 37 proposals.

One rule was disapproved, that being the regulation and approval of alligator hunting in North Carolina. This in essence now states more input from biologists would be needed prior to opening a season for alligators. The commission did open the possibility of a nuisance and depredation clause that could be handed down via proclamation from Gordon Myers, the executive director of the NCWRC. In other words, it may be possible for a property owner to take an alligator through a special permit in which the alligator causes or can cause harm to land and/or property.
An alligator season is not in the cards anytime soon in N.C.

One rule was withdrawn from consideration regarding the Eastern cougar being removed from a federally listed species, as state law requires the species to match the federal listing. It was up for approval because it is expected to be removed from the federal list, however it has not happened as of yet.

As far as the elk hunting proposal, the commission opened the door for elk hunting in North Carolina, although there will be no permits issued for the coming 2016-17 season. Much is speculation at this point, and I have been vocal on this matter myself. Our herd has not been managed to this point in a way to allow any abundance of hunting, as the herd has been very slow to grow. We did not take the same approach Kentucky did for instance.

It does look like the commission is taking the challenge seriously though. It has been speculated the permit for hunting elk in North Carolina may be one of the hardest tags to get in the country; perhaps as few as five will be available each year.
Hunting elk in NC could be one of the hardest tags to obtain in the country.

Some have noted they expect a commissioner’s or governor’s tag that can be issued or auctioned off to anyone. There is also some thought that a tag will be reserved for a youth hunter as well. Others have stated that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation may receive one, and then the remainder either dispersed through a lottery draw or some type of auction.

Myers also stated he plans on working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as well as other partners in establishing the proper metrics to guide a permit only hunt in the near future.

Based on how I have seen other states handle hard to hunt and limited hunts for specific species, I will share my beliefs in what should happen. I invite any and all readers to share their thoughts as well either by letter to the editor of this newspaper or to me personally at billhowardoutdoors@gmail.com.

Especially in the early going, I would like to see a resident-only lottery permit system put in place. For instance, Georgians have been vocal about their disapproval for non-residents pulling alligator permits in their state and Georgia issues more permits for alligators in a single zone than we have total elk population in North Carolina.

I am fine with both a governor’s tag and a youth tag. I do think the governor’s tag should be an auction style bid in which the most money proposed gets the tag. This money should go directly towards the conservation of the herd.

Monies from the lottery for the remaining tags should go with the auctioned tag and used in possibly expanding the herd by bringing in more animals. The one question here, which I am back and forth on, is the possibility of introducing a disease detrimental to the herd, so care will need to be taken.

Obviously there is much more to be looked at here, but I am growing more confident each day that we may do this correctly.

11 comments:

  1. I would like to share my experience at the Triple S Wildlife Ranch. Let me start by saying Steve Siebert and Staff were wonderful. Simply amazed by the number of trophy caliber Whitetail that roam the grounds of the SSS Ranch. The hospitality as well as the accommodations are the best that we have ever experienced. To look out from the back porch of the Lodge and see that gorgeous lake and the various wildlife is unbelievable.
    This was my second successful hunt at the ranch. The first trip netted a great elk trophy, and now I have a trophy mouflon ram to add to the office wall. The age and quality of the animals considered trophies on the SSS Ranch is a tribute to your game management style. The overall ranch size, as well as the supplemental feeding, food plots and cedar control measures, should continue to allow for trophy quality animals for many years to come. Rita already wants to come back and fish some more. We will be in touch with you regarding another hunting opportunity this fall

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  2. The SSS ranch is the best! I truly want to thank the owner of the ranch Steve Seibert for helping a father and son enjoy the hunt and bond in a sport that I think every boy should be able to do. With my disabilities from the Iraq War, I would never have been able to take him hunting without your help and compassion. You truly have provided us with the best hunting experience we could ever ask for and I thank you for caring enough to provide us with that encounter. We will be back

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  3. I have been hunting Exotic game animals for about 5 or 6 years and have heard a lot of horror stories about hunters being ripped off. Consequently when I first contacted Steve at the SSS Ranch I asked some pretty tough questions. He was probably at the point of telling this old man to hunt my Aoudad somewhere else. We finally came to an agreement on a date. On 17 February I showed up at his front gate and from that moment on was treated like a very special person. The accommodations are five stars. The ranch is breathtaking. I saw many trophy animals and came home with a ROE gold medal trophy Aoudad. Steve styles the hunt to you. What a place! Thanks Steve ... you are a blessed man. See you again soon.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. e are proud to bring our corporate clients and associates to the SSS Ranch. Steve Seibert and the staff at the ranch strive to exceed all your expectations of this extraordinary wildlife adventure. The SSS Ranch impressively accommodates the needs of each member of the group. Every year we look forward to another exciting outing

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  6. Just wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks for a wonderful hunt, and experience that we encountered on the Triple S Wildlife Ranch. The scenery and quality of animals were breath taking. In my days, I've hunted about 10-12 different ranches throughout Texas, and I find the SSS in the top three. We were after trophy whitetails,(150 class), and saw numerous quality bucks that fit that category. If you and your family members want to experience a trip of a life time, book a hunt with Steve Seibert on the SSS, and I promise you, you won't have any regrets!!!!!!!

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  7. The hunting experience and memories is not something that we will soon forget, having hunted whitetails for sometime. We all know that having two massive 10 points lock horn within 50 yards of your stand is not something you see every day. And just when we thought that was going to be the highlight of our trip, the very next morning we decided to do a little rattling. Nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to see, we rattled in at least five deer four of them were easily 145 to 160 class trophies, and then out of no where this massive 20 inch wide 12 point got within 25 feet of us UNBELEIVABLE. Plus, after the whitetail deer hunting, everyone loved the economical hog and rams hunting. If you are looking to experience trophy hunting at its finest, the SSS Ranch has got it all. Thanks for the memorable experiences, we will definitely be back soon.

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  8. Let me start by saying the guys and I were simply amazed by the number of trophy caliber Whitetail that roam the grounds of the SSS Ranch. The hospitality as well as the accommodations are the best that we have ever experienced. To look out from the back porch of the Lodge and see that gorgeous lake and the various wildlife is unbelievable.
    This was my second successful hunt at the ranch. The first trip netted a great elk trophy, and now I have a trophy mouflon ram to add to the office wall. The age and quality of the animals considered trophies on the SSS Ranch is a tribute to your game management style. The overall ranch size, as well as the supplemental feeding, food plots and cedar control measures, should continue to allow for trophy quality animals for many years to come. Rita already wants to come back and fish some more. We will be in touch with you regarding another hunting opportunity this fall

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  9. Wanted to share our story about the Triple S Wildlife Ranch in Calvin OK. We not only had a great time hunting, we also felt very welcome, were fed like kings, and were treated as though you and your staff all had nothing else on their calendars than to make our stay exceptionally wonderful.Thank you to the owner Steve Seibert and his team for everything. Visit there website at www.wildlifecreations.us and www.sss-ranch.com

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  10. I am so happy to see all the post about Triple S Wildlife Ranch here is my story. I just want to thank you and your team for all the attention, you really made us feel at home and as friends. (your slogan, come as a client, leave as a friend was right on the money). We enjoyed our stay, it was a great experience! The wildlife safari to observe the different species in a natural wild habitat was truly amazing. We saw wild animals you only see on TV shows. I also enjoyed my first fishing experience, I actually caught 4 fish. Thanks again great hospitality made this trip truly unforgettable. Look forward to doing it again. Thank you again to the owner of the Ranch Steve Seibert and his wonderful team. Visit there website at www.wildlifecreations.us and www.sss-ranch.com

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