One of North Carolina's largest hunting groups is worried about a plan to extend squirrel hunting season.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Friday that the North Carolina Wildlife Federation is concerned that extending the hunting season next year would leave baby squirrels as orphans in their nests.
The squirrel hunting season started Oct. 1 and runs to Feb. 13. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission wants to extend next year's season through the end of February.
Tim Gestwicki with the wildlife federation says female squirrels are nursing their babies in late February.
John Wooding with the wildlife commission says nursing mother squirrels are unlikely to leave their nests and won't be found by hunters. Wooding says current hunting affects only about 5 percent of the squirrel population.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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