Aspiring youthful hunters will get the first shots at wild turkeys as season openings loom in the Carolinas.
A single day – Saturday – has been set aside in South Carolina for hunters who are 17 and under to try and bag a turkey.
Meanwhile their North Carolina counterparts who are younger than 16 get a whole week of hunting, April 4-10.
In both states, only male birds, or gobblers, may be harvested. Youths must be accompanied into the fields and woods by an adult of at least 21, who may not hunt.
The bag limit for the youngsters in each state is one bird during the special seasons.
The S.C. youth hunt Saturday applies on private lands in the 34 counties that comprise Game Zones 1-5, and on all Wildlife Management Areas statewide where turkey hunting is allowed.
It’s a statewide youth season in North Carolina. Tom Higgins
Trout stocking schedules available
There was a time when ardent trout fishermen in the N.C. mountains would cruise roads near streams hoping to see a fish-filled hatchery truck en route to a site scheduled to be stocked.
The happy anglers then would tailgate the truck to its destination. As soon as the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission personnel finished pouring their cargo into the water and left, the fishermen lit into brook trout, browns and rainbows that proved easy prey.
It’s no longer necessary for trout anglers across the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains to waste gasoline while searching for a hatchery truck.
The Wildlife Commission now is posting on its website stocking dates and locations for the entire season by week. Daily updates will be posted at noon for all waters in the so-called “hatchery-supported” program stocked that day.
“We have wanted to help trout anglers by giving more advance notice about stockings so they can better plan fishing trips,” said David Deaton, a supervisor in the agency’s Division of Inland Fisheries. “Now, they can go online at noon and see which streams were stocked that day and which have yet to be stocked that week.
Deaton added that approximately 926,000 trout are to be released this year, 96 percent of which average 10 inches in length. The other 4 percent top 14 inches.
The creel limit on hatchery-supported streams and ponds is seven per day. There are no bait or size restrictions. Observer News Services and T.H.
Catches of the week
▪ Approximately 60 spotted bass on Lake Norman by Mooresville guide David Clubb and California drag racer Jeff Diehl. They also boated three striped bass averaging about 10 pounds. Diehl, in the area to compete at ZMax Dragway, and Clubb released every fish.
▪ Five Lake Wylie largemouth bass weighing 23.060 pounds by the Cherryville duo of Guy Eaker and Michael Webster to win Saturday’s Carolina Bass Challenge Series tournament and earn $10,000. Eaker, a well-known pro who has fished the major circuits, drew a measure of fame a few years ago when he cut a hook from the hand of George H.W. Bush after the president snared himself.
The top single largemouth, 7.07 pounds, was boated by Brandon Kersnowski and Zack Davis. A big field of anglers in 199 boats took part at Wylie.
▪ A 103-pound wahoo off Morehead City by a party trolling from the Sea Striker with skipper Adrian Hollar.
▪ A 21/2-pound crappie at Monroe’s Lake Lee by local angler Enrique Tizayur.
▪ Thirty Lake Lee crappie, all weighing 1 to 2 pounds, by Gene Parker and Willie Smith of Monroe.
▪ Nine fat largemouth bass at Lake Norman by Sam Newman of Mooresville.