24-year-old dies in NC mountains hunting accident

An accidental gunshot lead to the death of Ethan Hahn on Nov. 20, 2023.

Ethan Hahn, a 24-year-old hunter from Hildebran, NC died on Nov. 20, 2023 when he accidentally fired a shot from his own gun into his upper right arm. The incident took place in the mountainous region of Burke County, about 75 miles northwest of Charlotte in the Pisgah National Forest.

NCWRC and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office have ruled the death an accident and said no foul play is suspected.

Hahn was deer hunting with his dad, Mark Hahn, and apparently slipped while walking along a trail that was littered with piles of leaves. The two were walking some distance away from each other when the elder Hahn found his son on a steep hill with leaves on the ground, which seemingly created slick footing and resulted in Hahn falling and accidentally firing his CVA Scout .243.

Mark Hahn performed first aid and CPR on his son and called 911. When officials arrived, the 24-yard-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ethan was the valedictorian of East Burke High School’s class of 2017, and graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone. He was working for a software company, was deeply religious, and had recently written a devotional. He wanted to travel across the country, spreading his faith to others.


Click here to read about another Carolina hunting accident in November, which led to the death of 6-year-old Avery Davis.

North Carolina stocking F1 bass

The NCWRC is set to stock F1 bass into three North Carolina lakes, and the private sector is invited to help.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is gearing up to stock F1 bass into three of the state’s lakes. And for the first time ever, they will accept private funds to help finance the project.

The state is going full steam ahead, stocking even if no money is donated by the private sector. But for every dollar private citizens give, the federal government will triple it. F1 bass fingerlings currently cost about 50 cents apiece to stock. So one dollar from private funds would normally result in two fish being stocked.

But thanks to the government matching these funds at a 3-to-1 ratio, one dollar raised will result in eight fish being stocked. That’s a big deal!

It’s the perfect storm, in all the right ways, for the stocking program, said Marty Stone, a former professional bass angler who teamed up with two other bass fishing gurus to form the NC F1 Bass organization, which will help educate the public and funnel private funds to the NCWRC for the stocking program.

Stone and his partners have set the organization up as a 501(c)3, so all money donated will be tax deductible. And they’ve vowed that every dollar donated will go directly to NCWRC for the F1 stocking program.

So what is an F1 bass? It is the offspring of a Florida-strain bass and a norther-strain bass. This results in a fish with the exponential growth characteristics of a Florida-strain bass, coupled with the aggressive nature and extreme weather tolerance of a northern-strain bass. It’s the perfect fish to combat the influx of Alabama spotted bass that have been illegally introduced into many of North Carolina’s waters over the years.

The three lakes that will receive the first stockings of the F1 bass are Gaston, Jordan and Norman. These three lakes have three different water-quality ratings, which will help fisheries biologists gauge how well the F1 bass perform in varying conditions.

If you’d like more information on the program, click here to visit NCF1Bass.org.

NCWRC swears in 15 new wildlife officers

Fifteen new wildlife law enforcement officers were sworn in by the NCWRC on July 20, 2022.

Fifteen new NCWRC wildlife law enforcement officers were sworn in on July 20, 2022. These officers, commonly referred to as Game Wardens, completed their initial training, and now move on to 6 months of on-the-job training with veteran wildlife officers.

Once their field training is complete, the new officers will be assigned permanent duty stations across North Carolina.

The new officers are listed here in alphabetical order by their last name, along with their hometowns:

Cooper Abernathy, Morganton

Carson Billings, Elkin

Haywood Brantley, Spring Hope

Cole Burch, Sylva

Dern Crilley, Bladenboro

Hunter Gray, Valley City, Ohio

Spencer Hamilton, Sophia

Stephan Hawrysch, Loris, S.C.

Chance Herron, Troy

Nathan Kreitman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Devon McGuire, Boone

Joseph Pepoli, Fitchburg, Massachusetts

Omar Petty, Kings Mountain

Nathaniel Schott, Pylesville, Maryland

Sam Sheppard, Indian Trail