North Carolina SB 918 — Right to Hunt and Fish



S 2


Corrected Copy




Title: Sportsman’s Bill of Rights.



Senators Hoyle; Berger of Rockingham, Apodaca, Berger
of Franklin, Bingham, Blake, Brock, Brown, Dalton, East, Forrester, Garwood,
Hartsell, Holloman, Horton, Jacumin, Jenkins, Presnell, Smith, Snow, Stevens,
Swindell, Thomas, Tillman, and Webster.

Referred to:

Judiciary I.

24, 2005



recognize the right to hunt and fish in north carolina.

Whereas, hunting, trapping, and fishing are valued components
of the right to enjoy the natural resources of the State; and

Whereas, it is well established in common law that citizens
have the right to hunt, trap, and fish, subject to the property rights of
others; and

Whereas, rights profit à prendre, including the taking of
wildlife and fish, are recognized as valuable incidents of ownership of real
property and as such contribute to the value of land; and

Whereas, hunting rights are established rights routinely
conveyed or retained not as a mere license, but as an interest in real estate
in the nature of an incorporeal hereditament; and

Whereas, enjoyment of hunting, trapping, and fishing enhances
the willingness of persons to conserve undeveloped land and contributes to the
preservation of environmentally pristine tracts of land to the greater good of
all citizens; and

Whereas, hunting, trapping, and fishing provide food and
contribute significantly to the year-round sustenance for many persons in the
State; and

Whereas, hunting, trapping, and fishing provide wholesome,
outdoor sporting activities and exercise for persons of all ages and abilities;

Whereas, hunting, trapping, and fishing provide educational
opportunities and lessons in sportsmanship and citizenship, such as learning to
appreciate the value and beauty of the State’s natural resources and to
recognize the need to wisely maintain natural resources, including the
conservation of wildlife; and

Whereas, hunting, trapping, and fishing opportunities attract
visitors and enhance the State’s tourism industry; and

Whereas, hunting, trapping, and fishing support commercial
enterprises important to the State’s economy, including hunting guide services,
recreational fishing services, retail businesses providing specialized
clothing, equipment, vehicles, weapons, and other gear, pet food suppliers, and
other related commercial enterprises; and

Whereas, hunting and trapping support the economically
significant industries of breeding, maintenance, and sale of domestic animals;
domestic animal breeding clubs; breed competitions; and field trials of
domestic animals, including the many breeds of hunting dogs; and

Whereas, dogs belong to that class of domiciled animals that
the law recognizes as objects of property; and

Whereas, dogs are prized for hunting purpose, and as
watchdogs and as pets, and, further, many dogs have actual commercial and
market value; and

Whereas, dogs used for hunting are valuable assets of their
owners and are legitimately protected by law; and

Whereas, it is reasonable to affirm the right of persons to
hunt, trap, and fish, and specifically the right to hunt with dogs, subject to
the property rights of others and the reasonable regulation of wildlife; and

Whereas, present statutory law provides an adequate
regulatory scheme for reasonably necessary protection of domesticated animals
and wildlife; and

Whereas, it is not a part of the common law or statutory law
that animals are entitled to the legal justice to which persons are entitled,
or that animals have any of the rights of persons under the law; and

Whereas, while it is well settled that animals are properly
subject to many protections under existing law, it is specifically rejected
that any statute, local ordinance, rule, or regulation should seek to establish
the erroneous principle that animals should have any of the legal rights to
which persons are entitled; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. Chapter 113 of the General Statutes is
amended by adding a new Article to read:

Article 20A.

Right to Hunt.

§ 113‑270.
Right to hunt and fish.

(a) The General Assembly finds that:

(1) Hunting, trapping, and fishing, including
the taking of wild animals, wild birds, and fish, are a valued part of the
heritage of this State, are a fundamental right of the people, and shall be
forever preserved for the people.

(2) Fish and wildlife shall be managed by
regulations providing persons with the continued opportunity to take, by
traditional means and methods, species traditionally pursued by hunters,
trappers, and anglers.

(3) Fish and wildlife management, including
taking, shall be consistent with the State’s duty to protect the natural
resource heritage and its duty to conserve wild animals, birds, and fish.

(4) Hunting, trapping, or fishing by sportsmen
shall always be a preferred and available means of controlling all invasive or
overpopulated species.

(5) Persons shall have the continuing right to
hunt with dogs and to buy, sell, breed, transport, and use dogs in hunting.

(b) The General Assembly finds that animals
are property, whether the animals are domesticated animals owned by persons or
wildlife resources held in trust for all citizens. No law, local ordinance,
rule, or regulation shall seek to establish or attempt to grant to animals any
rights of persons under the law. No statute, local ordinance, rule, or
regulation shall have as its philosophical basis the concept that animals are
entitled to the legal justice to which persons are entitled, or that animals
have the rights of persons under the law.

SECTION 2. G.S. 113‑291.1 is amended
by adding a new subsection to read:

(k) Notwithstanding any other provision
of law, a person with a concealed handgun permit issued under Article 54B of Chapter
14 of the General Statutes may possess a handgun at any time while hunting, traveling
to hunt, training dogs, or traversing a refuge, public hunting area, or
wildlife management area, and that possession shall not be used as a basis for charging
the person with a violation of a State wildlife law or local wildlife law.

SECTION 3. G.S. 113‑295 reads as

“(a) It is unlawful
for a person to interfere intentionally with the lawful taking of wildlife
resources or to drive, harass, or intentionally disturb any wildlife resources
for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife resources. It is
unlawful for a person to intentionally distract or displace, or attempt to
distract or displace, a hunting dog while that dog is running, hunting, on
point, or in training.
It is unlawful to take or abuse property, equipment,
or hunting dogs that are being used for the lawful taking of wildlife
resources. This subsection does not apply to a person who incidentally
interferes with the taking of wildlife resources while using the land for other
lawful activity such as agriculture, mining, or recreation. This subsection
also does not apply to activity by a person on land he owns or leases.

Violation of this subsection is a Class 2 misdemeanor for a
first conviction and a Class 1 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent

SECTION 4. G.S. 14‑401.17 reads as

§ 14‑401.17.
Unlawful removal or destruction of electronic dog collars.collars;
unlawful possession or transport of dog wearing electronic collar.

(a) It is unlawful to intentionally remove or destroy
an electronic collar or other electronic device placed on a dog by its owner to
maintain control of the dog.

(a1) It is unlawful to take or attempt to take
possession of or transport any dog wearing an electronic collar or other
electronic device, or any other dog that the person knows to be a hunting dog, without
immediately notifying the owner of the dog or without having prior permission
of the owner to detain the dog. Nothing in this subsection limits the lawful
exercise of police powers by wildlife enforcement officers, animal control
officers, or other law enforcement officers.

(b) A first conviction for a violation of this section
is a Class 3 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction for a violation of
this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(c) This act is enforceable by officers of the Wildlife
Resources Commission, by sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, and peace officers with
general subject matter jurisdiction.

(d) This act applies only to Alamance, Anson,
Avery, Beaufort, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Camden, Caswell,
Cherokee, Chowan, Clay, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Davidson, Graham,
Haywood, Henderson, Hyde, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg,
Mitchell, New Hanover, Orange, Pasquotank, Pitt, Robeson, Rockingham, Swain,
Transylvania, Union, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

SECTION 5. Sections 3 and 4 of this act become
effective December 1, 2005, and apply to offenses committed on or after that
date. The remainder of this act is effective when it becomes law.

Leave a Reply