N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reminds hunters and anglers to practice safety first

Published 3:41 pm Monday, December 21, 2020

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The holidays are here, and so are North Carolina’s most popular hunting days. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day have traditionally been high traffic hunting days, and with more people recreating outdoors due to COVID-19, law enforcement officers at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission expect 2020 will be no exception.

The Wildlife Commission has experienced a 23 percent increase in inland fishing and hunting license sales sold since May, when North Carolina’s stay-at-home orders were lifted. The uptick in sales of annual, short term and lifetime licenses is sure to result in more outdoor enthusiasts heading to the field or out on the water this holiday season.

“It’s always important to ensure you have everything you need for an enjoyable and successful outing,” said Capt. Branden Jones of the agency’s Law Enforcement Division. “There is a tendency to become complacent about safety when hunting and fishing with friends and family. As you spend time bonding over these activities, don’t forget to keep safety as your number one priority. We want you to continue to make memories and enjoy the outdoors for years to come.”

The Wildlife Commission offers these basic safety tips for hunters and anglers:

• Let someone know your whereabouts and an approximate return time.

• Always practice firearm safety and point the muzzle in a safe direction.

• Be aware of your surroundings, especially when preparing to shoot. Ensure that there aren’t any houses, vehicles or people in front of or behind your target.

• Wear an article of clothing featuring blaze orange. When boating, always wear a floatation device.

• Do not consume alcoholic beverages before or during hunting or boating.

• A more in-depth review of safety precautions regarding hunting on land or in a vessel can be found on the agency’s Home From The Hunt webpage at ncwildlife.org/hfth.

For regulations and restrictions on hunting on land and water, refer to the 2019-2020 Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest.

For more information regarding coronavirus-related access closings, visit ncwildlife.org/covid19.