Nineteen new officers have been sworn in by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to enforce boating, fishing, hunting laws and related activities across the state.
The group recently graduated at the agency’s facility at Campbell University in Buies Creek, culminating 24 weeks of training. They now begin six months of on-the-job training under supervision of a veteran officer. Upon completion of this work afield, they will receive permanent duty stations.
The graduates include:
▪ Eric Daniel Gleason of Charlotte, temporarily assigned to Cabarrus County.
▪ Matthew William Lee of Norwood, assigned to Davie County.
▪ Thomas Zachary Lemonds of High Falls, assigned to Davidson County.
Richard Christopher Becker of Asheville (assigned to Rutherford County); Nathaniel James Cox of Crumpler (Stokes County); and David Michael Descourouez of Angier (Cleveland County) also graduated.
Candidates to become wildlife law enforcement officers are required to pass background, psychological and physical screenings prior to training school. Instruction covers statutory and investigation procedures, defensive tactics, fish and game laws as well as pursuit driving and boating.
Application information may be found on the commission’s website, ncwildlife.org.
Feral swine disrupt prescribed burning in S.C.
Officials with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources are blaming feral swine for yet another problem.
They contend the wild hogs are interfering with prescribed burns that benefit other forms of wildlife.
“They disturb vegetation on the ground as they wallow and root for food, resulting in patches of bare soil that disrupt our ability to get fire to carry continously across areas being burned,” said DNR wildlife biologist Johnny Stowe. “When the fires reach where hogs have trampled, wallowed and rooted, the fire goes out. This often results in large areas not being burned.”
Among the many negative things traceable to wild hogs along the coast is the destruction of loggerhead sea turtle nests. “Some years they have destroyed 90 percent of the nests of the federally threatened loggerheads on the North Island portion of the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center,” said the site’s manager, biologist Jamie Dozier.
DNR has taken steps to allow night hunting of the swine to limit their number. Information on hunting them is available at dnr.sc.gov/nighthunt.
Catches of the week
- Red drum of 41 and 40 inches, respectively, by William and Dorian Jefferson, both of Charlotte, while fishing near Hatteras Village. The fish were released.
- A 48-inch red drum boated and released near Oregon Inlet by 15-year-old Cameron Bane.
- A 40-inch red drum near Hatteras Village by Jonathan Prance of Holly Springs.
- Two tarpon hooked and one boated and released near Georgetown, S.C., by local guide Robert Mayer III while fishing solo.
- A blue marlin off Georgetown by Will Godwin of Lake City, S.C., who experienced tremendous beginner’s luck. Trolling from the Strike Zone, it was his first fishing trip offshore.
- A blue marlin boated and released off Georgetown by Charlie Erdman while trolling from the Big Sky.