by Ashley Roof
Hunting is a big sport around the South, but many people do not know as much about hunting as they should. Youth under age 16, accompanied by a properly licensed adult, may enjoy those privileges conveyed by the licenses held by the accompanying adult. Youth under 16 who have obtained a certificate of competency showing their completion of the hunter safety course may hunt without a license, but they must carry their certificate while hunting.
Hunting outside of developed recreation areas is permitted throughout the national forests in North Carolina. Any lands open to the public hunting are called “game lands.” The Forest Service is emphasizing equal access to hunting. Hunters must have the proper licenses or permits needed to hunt. DuPont State Recreational Forest is participating in the NC Wildlife Commission’s Game Land Program, and hunting is by permit and lottery only.
Seasons are established for deer, turkey and small game. Deer hunting is allowed on Friday and Saturday in season; turkey is typically Thursday, Friday and Saturday in season. No Sunday hunting is permitted.
Hunting safety zones have been established within the forest around heavily used areas and areas overlooking private land. It is unlawful to shoot into or from a hunting safety zone. Hunting safety zones include the area from Hooker Falls access area up Staton Road to the Buck Forest Access Area and east to the Little River, an area across from the private plant entrance, the area from Bridal Veil Falls east to Lake Julia and south to Short Cut Trail including the airstrip, areas east and west of Hickory Mountain, the Flatwoods area around the Guion Farm and the area north of Guion Road. References to the DuPont State Recreational Forest Map can be made for more detail on safety zones.
“The basic rules for going to hunt is to make sure you use something to get rid of your scent. You want to layer up your clothing if its going to be cold,” said senior Jessica Krauter, who learned to hunt for her senior project. “Make sure you have all your equipment before you go. When you get in the woods, make sure you sit very quietly and don’t make any noise that would scare the deer away. When you go to shoot, shoot them in the shoulder area.”
“[I] chose hunting because I had always wanted to learn how to hunt. A lot of my family hunts and I have always been interested in learning how,” said Krauter.
Krauter took two hunter safety classes that were each three hours long. At the end of the second class, students are given a test. Passing the test meant receiving a hunting license and being able to participate with her family in this traditional sport.