Outdoor sporting news

Elkin to host forum on white-tailed deer

ELKIN — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host a public forum in Surry County on June 25 to discuss deer management in North Carolina. This forum will utilize an interactive approach to share information and gain feedback from deer hunters and others about their preferences for deer management in North Carolina.

The 7-9 p.m. forum will be held at Elkin High School, 334 Elk Spur Street, Elkin. The forum is one of nine being held statewide. An optional pre-registration is available through www.ncwildlife.org for speedy check-in and registering of comments.

Wildlife Commission biologists will share a recently completed biological evaluation of the state’s deer herd, including the average ages of bucks and does harvested, the peak breeding dates, and the timing of the harvest. Discussion will include how each of these can play a role in determining the future of deer management in North Carolina. Other topics of regional interest to deer hunters may include coyote predation, hemorrhagic disease and antler point restrictions. Commissioners and staff will welcome questions and discussion on the future of deer hunting and deer management in North Carolina.

The forums are not replacing regulation proposal meetings, which will be held in January 2016.

Public meeting set for Burke County shooting range proposal

MORGANTON — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will hold an informational meeting on June 23 in Morganton to discuss constructing a shooting range on the Johns River Game Land in Burke County.

The meeting is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and will be held at the Morganton Municipal Auditorium located at 401 S. College Street.

The site on the Johns River Game Land is the most viable option among the alternate sites that the Commission considered after gathering public comments regarding the first proposed site for the shooting range, which was on the Linville tract of the Pisgah Game Land in Burke County.

The new site is located at the end of Duckworth Drive, adjacent to the Burke County landfill and less than ¼ mile from the Burke County Sheriff’s Department shooting range. Plans for the proposed range include a 25-yard pistol range and a 100-yard rifle range.

The Commission has performed a preliminary sound study and currently is conducting an environmental assessment, which it hopes to complete before the public input meeting on June 23.

During the meeting, the Commission will provide an overview of the preliminary sound study and environmental assessment, if the assessment is completed. The public will be able to provide comments at the conclusion of the overview. Commission staff will report on the proposed shooting range, along with public comments, to the Wildlife Commissioners for their consideration at the July 16 business meeting in Raleigh.

The proposed range is part of an initiative by the Wildlife Commission to develop and enhance public shooting facilities across the state.

Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87

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