Despite agreeing with bear hunters that no new rules would be enacted for 3 years, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved temporary rule H2 that will increase the time that bears can be taken with the aid of unprocessed food as bait.
The Commission will allow baiting during:
- Western / Mountain Season (October 17 - November 19)
- Eastern / Coastal Season (throughout the bear hunting season), see the specific hunting season for the area you are considering hunting.
Background: Begining in the mid 1980's, whenever NC Bear Hunters wanted to discuss changes or modifications to bear hunting regulations or bear management, we were forced to take our requests to the NC Legislature and enact laws both on statewide and local law levels to effect such changes.
Early in the 90's, the NCWRC expressed interest in working with NC Bear Hunters to modify and develop a bear strategy through existing Agency regulatory authority and not through the legislature. With hopes of good intentions by everyone involved, the NCWRC and NC Bear Hunters began an interactive process that has endured many achievements and disappointments while trying to find solution for better bear management. Notwithstanding regular attempts to align and regionalize hunting seasons, the NCWRC showed reluctance to move forward despite all the dialog with hunters. In 2009, after much bureaucratic stonewalling, NC Bear Hunters determined that until there was a Bear Management Plan that set forth the specific goals and approaches for achieving them, we could not gain the traction required to move bear management forward.
In the NCWRC dark days of 2011 and 2012, the very nature of the Commissioner’s changed. Most observers recognized that the Commission changed from an amicable and respected group of Commissioner’s who had genuine interest and expertise in some matters of fishing and hunting, and provided competent advice, consent and oversight of the NCWRC agency, to a Commission that reinvented itself into what could be often be described as a heavy-handed management group running the agency. During this uneasy period, the NCWRC spent no time or effort developing the needed Bear Management Plan. Of course, there were Commissioners who were dedicated to doing the right things, the right way and in a respectful fashion.
Over the past 6 years, the NCWRC and NC Bear Hunters have held some 36 statewide meetings, the basis of these meetings initially center around hunting seasons, feeding bears and problems between hunters and agency law enforcement regarding feeding related issues. NCWRC would not change seasons and modify methods of take because they still didn’t have a Bear Management Plan. Then after 22 years without a functional Bear Management Plan, then Chairman Hoyle demanded the Bear Management Plan be prioritized and finalized, and quickly thereafter we had a good plan.
More Recently: It wasn’t long before many of the Commissioners said they wanted to allow hunting with the aid of “bait”, there was huge disagreement between bear hunters, agency biologists, agency executives and the Commissioner. Nevertheless, after 3 years intense disagreement and majority rejection by bear hunters during the District Public Hearings, the NCWRC decided to incrementally permit bear hunting with the aid of bait for 3 years, during which time neither hunters nor the agency would modify the bear regulations in any manner until we had a scientific understanding of the effects of bear baiting on bear populations.
Regardless the Commission wanted to break the 3-year agreement with hunters. With only 1.5 years’ worth of paper data and 1-year of biological specimen data to evaluate, there’s was no scientific basis to think we can expand the bear baiting season.
U.S. FOREST SERVICE plans to end common access to NC National Forests
The USFS is proposing plans to designate these 362,000 acres and 53 river segments in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests to Wilderness Areas; a designation that would forevermore severely limit access to these public lands by the average person and especially our youngest, oldest and disabled citizens.
The North Carolina Bear Hunters Association (NCBHA) expressed the strongest OPPOSITION to the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest Plan adding any more Forest Service lands in North Carolina to the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Probably no single group of Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest users know these lands better than our bear hunting member’s do, for hundreds of years our families have hunted and traveled these lands as a hunting tradition that predates the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest themselves. Consequently, we understand well, the life altering impact that designating these 362,000 acres and 53 river segments of the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests to Wilderness Areas.
Congressional Hearing: Operations Something Bruin
June 19, 2015, Haywood County Courthouse, North Carolina.
"Operation Something Bruin" Congressional Hearing June 19, 2015 - Part 1/2
Bear Hunting Magazine It’s our privilege to annouce that the NCBHA will continue our relationship with Bear Hunting Magazine family. We consider Bear Hunting Magazine the only true forum dedicated to bear hunting in North America. As you probably already know, the NCBHA will be providing a full subscription to each of our members as part of your standard membership. We believe that Bear Hunting Magazine will provide a much more effective medium for communicating with our member, while simultaneously bringing quality bear hunting articles. (Posted 4-10-16)