The North Carolina chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers was established in May 2018 after solid effort from many members across the state. We are proud that at the time of founding, NC had the core leadership and membership to support a stand alone chapter while our neighbors to the north were represented by Capital Region BHA (Virginia, Maryland, & D.C.) and those in seven states to the west and south of us fell under Southeast BHA.
In our first programming year—measured from Rendezvous to Rendezvous—we realized 410% membership growth and we are targeting another 200% by EOY 2019. In our second year we began forming city and regional Councils wherein BHA members can organize and build a local presence. These Councils meet regularly and all meetings and events are open to anyone interested so if you are not yet a member and want to learn more about BHA in North Carolina check out our Events page for upcoming meetings and other opportunities to meet members and leadership of NC BHA.
North Carolina is a unique state comprised of three main regions – the mountains in the west, the central piedmont plateau, and the coastal plains in the east. In total there are 1.2 million acres of National Forest lands across four National Forests and 2.1 million acres of total public land in North Carolina yielding public ownership of 14.6% of land area.
Our Blue Ridge Mountains of the greater Appalachian chain create the eastern continental divide, and the waters draining from our western slopes find the Mississippi River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. Eastern slope waters wind through lush streams, rivers, and sounds and eventually make their way to the Atlantic Ocean.
A distinct characteristic of NC’s mountain backcountry and a lens through which we view these wizened giants that greatly enhances the experience of dwelling among them is their geologic age. The Appalachian Mountains formed approximately 480 million years ago. This places them more that 400 million years older than our comparatively youthful Rockies. What’s more, the Appalachians were once as tall as the Rockies, and the Alps for that matter, but have stood watch through millennia upon millennia as the natural course of time and weather seasoned and smoothed them. Still, North Carolina is home to seven of the ten highest peaks in the range including the top two, Mt Mitchell and Mt Craig.
Balancing our western grandeur is our magnificent coast. In addition to our 301 miles of coastline (7th in the nation) NC also has more sounds than any other state in the union. Further, within this intracoastal system are 5,000 miles of inner waters that set the stage for infinite backcountry adventures. Notably, among NC’s barrier islands can be found Cape Lookout National Seashore. This national park, established in 1966, is only accessible by ferry, lacks paved roads and is devoid of restaurants, hotels, private residences, or businesses of any kind. Cape Lookout is an unrivaled gem and true American backcountry.