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Hey gang...first post for me so I thought I'd get the SouthEast board off and running.

I live in East Central North Carolina.  Basically flat farmland with swampy drainages.  LOTS of deer as well as ducks and dove.  The big draw here for out of staters is BLACK BEAR hunting.  The NC state record black bear weighed 880 lbs and was taken about an hour SouthEast of my home.  We are seeing more and more bears each year here as they move West.   Black bear hunting is usually done with dogs in the impenetrable swamps of the East or the brushy, steep Appalachian mountains out West.

NC tags are available over the counter and are pretty reasonable.  An out of state Big Game licence runs about $80.00 with a bear tag $100.00 extra.
The deer season is long...1st week of Sept (archery) till Jan 1st.  Bear season opens for a week in Nov. and two weeks in Dec, I believe.
There is a whole lot of public land which can be accessed for a $15.00 Game Lands fee.  We're talking over a million acres.

So come on down.  Hunting is still an honored pastime with most folks down here.  If you need me to recommend a good barbecue place 'so's you can pack a proper dinner, let me know.

It's also fairly easy to get permission to hunt private land if you will use your manners  Mamma taught you.  It is common to trade chores for a day or two of hunting permission.  I have had good luck putting up a notice at church bulletin boards.  Got some real good spots and made some great friends.
 

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I was down around Andrews and Murphy a couple of years ago.  We drove through from Tennessee.  It was hot and humid but absolutely beautiful country.  My wife has been saving our pennies to visit the Outer Banks, guess that's gotta be pretty good, isn't that where Robert Ruarke is from?
 

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You know, I don't even know if Ruark is from around there or not.  Could be.  I lived in the Kill Devil Hills/ Nags Head area for a couple of years after school.  Great memories.   The Outer Banks has some extra good waterfowling if the weather gets bitter cold for several days.  Some BIG bucks live there as well; they are not heavily hunted in some areas.  As a boy I recall driving up to a secluded beach house, and a big ole 8 point jumped up from his siesta spot...under the house porch!  He stalked off looking rather annoyed.
     On Hwy 64 going to the OB they raised a 120 foot section of the highway so the bears could cross unmolested!  It is patrolled by the game warden on a regular basis of course!
     In some counties in this area it is still perfectly legal to shoot deer from the cab of your truck from a state maintained road!
     The swamps of Hyde and Tyrrell counties hold some of the largest Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes in the world.  This is the largest type of rattler in the world, can grow to over 7 feet long.
Don't forget to try a softshell crab sandwhich on toast with cole slaw....mmmm good.

If you go to Kill Devil Hills stop by and visit the Wright Brothers Memorial and see where the first flight was made.  You can see for miles from the top of the dune there.   Definitely spring for the plane tour of the islands.  See if you can get the pilot to fly all the way down to Ocracoake, home of Blackbeard the Pirate.  Definitely take an offshore fishing charter to the blue waters of the Gulf Stream too.  Expensive but everyone should go.  You might catch a tuna and airfreight it to the Japanese and pay for your entire vacation!
 

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Buster - N.C. sounds like a great place. When is the peak of the rut for deer down there? It's about the 15th to 25th of Nov. here. Also, are there any restrictions like "shotgun only "on either deer or bear? Thanks for all your info.
 

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Firearms rules are different county to county.  For instance my home county (Wilson) has one of the strangest shotgun rules I know of.   In order to use a rifle for deer hunting, one must be in an elevated stand 8 feet off the ground.  Otherwise a shotgun must be used.  This rule has just come into effect in the last few years.  The area is becoming more populated and personally I feel that the "8 foot" rule is acceptable, given the flat terrain, long season, and many small farms and homesteads.  With rifled slug guns accurate to 150+ yards, I don't feel too terribly handicapped.  In fact I use a smoothbore (Ithaca 37) for deer dogging.  Treestand hunting is known as "still" hunting around here and is the most popular method, with a good 30-06 the weapon of choice.
  Most counties are still rifle territory.  I can't think of one entire county that is shotgun only, although many refuge or permit hunts specify shotgun only.
Deer dogging with rifles is a passion in the Eastern region and is perfectly safe in the immense pine plantations and cutover land here.  But it does vary by county as to what you can use where.

If you wish e-mail me at [email protected] and I will mail you a reg book and game lands map (last seasons or the year before) to help give you a better picture of our hunting.  I don't mind at all.  I only have a couple copies however.
 

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Buster, North Carolina sounds really nice. It is one of the places that I am cosidering retiring at when I get out of the military. How is the area west of FT Bragg in Moore County? It is close to the Uwharrie National Forest. Those big snakes you were talking about make me nervous.                                                       Eric
 

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Hello again, I almost forgot. How is your fox squirrel population?  I am an avid small game hunter with the rifle. Thanks
 

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If you are ex-military you can hunt FT. Bragg, even on Sunday!  A soldier from VA killed a 14 point typical on a Sunday last season.  Civilians are not allowed to hunt on Sunday.  Ft Bragg is supposed to be excellent hunting with thousands of acres and a managed herd.  A dirt path every 1/4 mile too.
The Uwharrie is supposed to be very crowded in rifle season in the easy to access areas.  Pretty close to Charlotte, NC.  Bow season is said to be the time to go.  Very nice low foothills with rocky outcroppings.  Never hunted there myself but have driven through.

Fox squirrels are sort of hit and miss. I had a great place to hunt squirrels and it held some nice Fox squirrels but it was logged off last year.  Too bad.
Older hardwoods will have the big Fox squirrels.  The Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge holds a small game hunt by permit drawing that is really good.  Most spots are only accessible by boat however.  Great deerhunting too.  I get drawn every year but so far no boat=no hunt.  Check out a topographic web page and you'll see this hunters paradise.
Spring runs of striped bass too.

A hunter who is willing to pack in could have a fantastic pre-rut hunt in the blackpowder season in the Uwharrie.  Beautiful country.
 

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Buster;

Good word for eastern NC on a good board.  I'm from New Bern myself.  
Have lived all over NC except for extreme NE and SW NC.  
Hunting has improved in the past 10 years, especially bear hunting.
NC seems to be a mecca for former military.  Areas around  Ft. Bragg are excellent hunting primarily because of the efforts of the base.  In eastern NC we have less base hunting at Cape Lejune and Cherry Point for the former Marines and Naval retirees, but there are some of the densest swamps in the US in National Forest, the Croatan and Holly Ridge.
All in all, NC has made great strides in bear hunting - in a couple of years I predict we will see some Boone and Crockett bears coming out of eastern NC.
 

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I agree.  I feel stongly that a bowhunting world record blackie will come out of our area.  

New Bern is a great town.  Not too many towns have a Royal (Colonial Governor's) Palace.

And on the doorstep of the Croatan National Forest...something like 160,000 acres!

You know, when you really think about it, with all the hunting and fishing, good people, and all, NC has got to be one of the all time greats.

After all, Michael Jordan is from Wilmington!

Yes, I agree completely with you.  Hope I get my bear!
 

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I am a licensed guide who has lived here in NC just outside the boundry of the Uwharrie National Forest for years and years, and wanted to chime in real quick about the hunting here in the area.  

Despite our proximity to Charlotte, the Uwharrie National Forest and Game Lands area is not an over-crowded or necessarily a dangerous place to be during hunting season. There has not been a single hunting incident/accident here in the past seven years.  It's a darn big chunk of real estate...add up all the UNF property, the Uwharrie Game Lands, Alcoa Game Lands, etc...and you've got almost 85,000 acres to roam around in.  

The game populations here are very solid - deer are everywhere, wild turkey are making an amazing return, small game (mainly squirrel) are plentiful, and we even have year-round season on coyote that you can take advantage of.  We even had our first confirmed black bear sighting (in over 60 years) made by NC WRC officer just a couple of months ago.

Oh yeah, there is also a 100M firing range complete with about 12 bench rests and a roof that was built in the heart of Uwharrie NF a couple of years ago.  It's open to public and free of charge....

BZ
 

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I've been nearly everywhere mentioned in this thread. I'm from East Tennessee, but have a cousin in New Bern and an uncle and aunt in Murphy and Franklin.

New Bern was a very interesting little town, and I'd like to go back and visit someday. I love the mountains between here and Franklin. Can't imagine living anywhere else.
 

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no n.c. not good place to hunt..go s.c. mabe tenn.
n. c. no deer there. only a few squirrel, that look a bit sick to me...remember n.c. bad place to come an hunt..
 

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yep i saw a very large doe this morning in the gameland s..
i never fail to see deer if i go out walking and set a while..
that will change the first wk of gun season..after that the gameland deer [uwharries] wil be like ghost
to those who know.. will the gamewarden fuss if i clear the small limbs etc.. in my still hunting spots.. theres a regulation about taking plants an such so hence my question..
ive about decided to adjust both rifles back to dead on at a hundred,,instead of 2 inch high .. in this area,, im gonna feel better taking shots, where i can aim dea
 

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yep i saw a very large doe this morning in the gameland s..
i never fail to see deer if i go out walking and set a while..
that will change the first wk of gun season..after that the gameland deer [uwharries] wil be like ghost
to those who know.. will the gamewarden fuss if i clear the small limbs etc.. in my still hunting spots.. theres a regulation about taking plants an such so hence my question..
ive about decided to adjust both rifles back to dead on at a hundred,,instead of 2 inch high .. in this area,, im gonna feel better taking shots, where i can aim dead at the sweet spot..they[my rifles] are still dead on at 200 so i believe thats gona be my best bet..any ideas about hunting the uwharries ,,appreciated..example whats the regulations on tree stands..ive heard conflicting info on that..thanks
got to get ready for night shift..
 

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I live on the coast of North Carolina. Gamelands here do not have any kind of restriction on tree stands. Many dogs are run here for deer. Oh Gosh here come the critics on that one! The ever famous" We used to shoot da dawgs back home for runnin' deer!" Whatever... Just clear your limbs with prunning shears or something so that you are not entering the lands looking like you are a tree service for land clearing. I have cut many trails that I stalk in beaver swamps with just pocket shears. Each time you go cut a little more. If the brush is canopied enough it will not grow back for years only needing a trim here or there. It is discreet and no one has ever found my trails. Plant life here is prohibited from removal so that folks do not steal the carnivorous plants(pitcher, venus fly traps, etc) I hunt on the ground here. I would rather be on the move anyway as the deer run through very thick cover along swamp edges when dog packs move them. Most shots for me are 20 yards on average whether in a stand or on the ground. Like you said deer become nocturnal to open areas once the season hits. A iron sighted 45-70 is used if I am on the ground sighted for 100 yards. My 308 pump 7600 is scoped sighted for 3" high at 100. This puts me dead on at the usual ranges encountered of 30-60 yards. I am not afraid of a miss with it 3" high at 100 and I am good for the occasional encounter of 200 + yards as we have very active power line lanes here and I occasionally see a few cut corn and soybean fields here. The scope enables me to check good for antlers at even close ranges as I often hunt where folks will not invite you back if you shoot anything less than an 8 point or better. The bucks are getting better since people are managing.
 

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I am glad to hear my assumptions of the wilderness forest areas confirmed, now all I have to do is get out there and scout it out.
 

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Scouters; should you get back into some of the Pocosin bays; in eastern NC have compass x 2. Literally thousands of acres that look exactly them same. [coon hunter speaking]
"Pocosin" Indian word; swamp on a hill
Holly Shelter got its name from the Holly bushes indigenous to the area. We call it 'Thick'

Craig
 
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