According to Dick Hamilton of the Camo Coalition of North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Orange County is facing a similar situation except its board of commissioners has passed the resolution to have deer hunting with dogs banned altogether.
“Their issue is still pending,” he said.
According to Orange County Board of Commissioners Chairman Valerie Foushee, the issue has been on the rise for quite some time.
“A number of citizens brought it to our attention,” she said.
With a population of more than 120,000, this may cause some of the hunters to travel to hunt deer with dogs, or to adapt. This is a safety issue. That’s what happens when you have a more populated area,” Foushee said.
In Orange County you currently can’t:
n Hunt deer from a public road.
n Hunt with firearms from the right-of-way of a public road.
n Intentionally remove or destroy an electronic collar, or other electronic device placed on a dog by its owner to maintain control of the dog.
n Hunt or fish on the land of another without having on one’s person, written permission, signed and dated for the current hunting season, by the landowner or lessee.
With a population of more than 46,000 Richmond County has minimal hunting restrictions at this time.
“I think that Richmond County is holding things together real well,” said Gordon Myers, executive director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission. “Putting everyone together is the best course of action.”
In Richmond County, you can’t:
n Take deer with dogs west of Little River and that portion east of Little River, bound by NC 73 to the north, by Hough Road to the east and by Grassy Island Road to the south.
n No one can hunt deer from a public road and no one can hunt with firearms from the right-of-way of any public road north of US 74 and west of US 220.
“I’m more hopeful in the case of Richmond County,” Myers said. “There is a chance to still have the option.”
“If a county ordinance is passed in either situation then, the rules will have to be enforced by the sheriff’s office of that county,” Hamilton said. “If they want a wildlife officer to enforce the law then it would be a state issue.”
Foushee says that before the board made a decision, they initiated a task force to hear both sides.
“This was for everyone that had a stake in the issue and the ultimate decision was to ban it altogether,” she said.
The North Carolina General Assembly will look at the request from Orange County when session opens in January.
“At this time, to my knowledge no one has tried to appeal the decision,” Foushee said.
Staff Writer Hollie Nivens can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 19 or by e-mailing at email@example.com