STATE: Commission seeks comment on bird seasons, conservation plans

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking public comment on the following:

  • 2023-24 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons for waterfowl, webless migratory and extended falconry.
  • Species Conservation Plans for:
    • Bog Turtle, the smallest turtle in North America that spends most of its time under water, buried in mud or hiding in thick vegetation in the western part of North Carolina and federally and state listed as Threatened.
    • Southern Hognose Snake, a snake found in sandy fields and woods of the Coastal Plain and Sandhills region of North Carolina and state listed as Threatened.

Each year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provides season date frameworks from which the Wildlife Commission may choose hunting season dates within the established guidelines.

Compensatory days are allowed for those states that do not allow hunting of migratory birds on Sunday. The season dates being considered include compensatory days for both waterfowl and webless migratory species. The public can access a detailed overview of proposed changes in federal hunting season frameworks and/or changes to seasons and bag limits for 2023-24, as well as season frameworks for webless migratory and waterfowl speciesextended falconry season frameworks, and Canada goose and duck hunting zones on the comment portal webpage. Comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. March 20 on the Wildlife Commission’s online comment portal. The agency’s Commissioners will review the comments and select the season dates at the April 20 business meeting.

Species Conservation Plans guide agency efforts to maintain and increase populations of species that are declining in North Carolina and need additional conservation help to survive. Each plan presents biological information, causes of decline, conservation goals and potential conservation actions. Public comments that will be accepted through 5 p.m. April 9 via the agency’s website at ncwildlife.org/draftplan. After collecting and considering all comments, Wildlife Commission staff will present the Bog Turtle Draft Conservation Plan and Southern Hognose Snake Conservation Plan to Commissioners for their approval at a future business meeting. Once approved, the plans will be used as blueprints for conservation of the species by the Wildlife Commission and partners.