Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Wildlife in North Carolina Vol. 69 Issue 11, Nov 2005
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The ruby-throated hummingbird is the most familiar of the species to North Carolinians. It is the only hummingbird that breeds east of the Mississippi River. Over the past decade a dozen other kinds of hummingbirds have been seen in North Carolina and in an unusual season--winter. What is not clear is whether the winter ranges of some hummingbirds are expanding or whether the birds have always been here in winter and not been noticed. The rufous hummingbird is the most abundant of the winter sightings. Pusser discusses the research on winter hummingbirds by bird biologist Susan Campbell, who is the only North Carolinian with a permit to band hummingbirds.
Hunters in the Northeast Hunt Zone will have a winter season for Canada geese for the first time since 1992. The zone is comprised of all or parts of eleven counties in the northeastern Coastal Plain. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had closed the zone to hunting in an attempt to allow a declining migrating population a chance to rebound. North Carolina has both a resident Canada geese population and a migratory one. The resident one now numbers over one million while the migratory remains constant at around five thousand. Wildlife biologists hope to find reasons for this through examinations of the shot geese. The wildlife service will issue only five hundred permits, and each hunter can shoot one goose.
The periauger was flat-bottomed, dugout workboat in the state's waterways during the 18th- and early 19th-centuries that disappeared in the first half of the 19th-century. Improved roadways, the opening of more railroad lines, and the steamboat contributed to its demise. Archaeologists have yet to find the remains of a vessel of this type in the state. In 2004, a group of marine historians successfully planned, built, and sailed a reproduction of periauger. Wilson discusses the project.
Kibler discusses catfishing, which is growing in popularity in North Carolina and across the country. The catfish is the biggest freshwater game fish in North American waters. In North Carolina the largest are the blue catfish, with a state record of eighty-five pounds, and the flathead catfish, with a state record of seventy-eight pounds. Tournaments devoted to catfishing offer thousands of dollars in prizes. Tackle companies have introduced equipment specifically for catfishing, and a number of how-to books on catching these big fish have been published.
Besides knowing when to hunt, how to scout for deer, the games laws, and deer anatomy, hunters need to keep a few basic things in mind to keep the hunt safe and memorable. These include keeping safety the primary concern, always taking good shots, avoiding detection by the deer through controlling smell, movement, and sounds, and properly field dressing the deer.