Article 22.

Regulation of Wildlife.

§ 113-291.  General restrictions.

Except as specifically permitted in this Subchapter or in rules made under the authority of this Subchapter, no person may take, possess, buy, sell, or transport any wildlife - whether dead or alive, in whole or in part. Nor may any person take, possess, buy, sell, or transport any nests or eggs of wild birds except as so permitted. No person may take, possess, buy, sell, or transport any wildlife resources in violation of the rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. (1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 98.)

 

§ 113-291.1.  Manner of taking wild animals and wild birds.

(a)        Except as otherwise provided, game may only be taken between a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset and only by one or a combination of the following methods:

(1)        With a rifle, except that rifles may not be used in taking wild turkeys.

(2)        With a shotgun not larger than number 10 gauge.

(3)        With a bow and arrow of a type prescribed in the rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(4)        With the use of dogs.

(5)        By means of falconry.

Fur-bearing animals may be taken at any time during open trapping season with traps authorized under G.S. 113-291.6 and as otherwise authorized pursuant to this subsection, and rabbits may be box-trapped in accordance with rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. The Wildlife Resources Commission may adopt rules prescribing the manner of taking wild birds and wild animals not classified as game. Use of pistols in taking wildlife is governed by subsection (g). The Wildlife Resources Commission may prescribe the manner of taking wild animals and wild birds on game lands and public hunting grounds.

(b)        No wild animals or wild birds may be taken:

(1)        From or with the use of any vehicle; vessel, other than one manually propelled; airplane; or other conveyance except that the use of vehicles and vessels is authorized:

a.         As hunting stands, subject to the following limitations. No wild animal or wild bird may be taken from any vessel under sail, under power, or with the engine running or while still in motion from such propulsion. No wild animal or wild bird may be taken from any vehicle if it is in motion, the engine is running, or the passenger area of the vehicle is occupied. The prohibition of occupying the passenger area of a vehicle does not apply to a disabled individual whose mobility is restricted.

b.         For transportation incidental to the taking.

(2)        With the use or aid of any artificial light, net, trap, snare, electronic or recorded animal or bird call, or fire, except as may be otherwise provided by statute[;] provided, however, that the Wildlife Resources Commission may adopt rules prescribing seasons and the manner of taking of wild animals and wild birds with the use of artificial light and electronic calls. No wild birds may be taken with the use or aid of salt, grain, fruit, or other bait. No black bear may be taken with the use or aid of any salt, salt lick, grain, fruit, honey, sugar-based material, animal parts or products, or other bait, except as provided by the rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. However, no rule established by the Wildlife Resources Commission shall allow for the taking of a black bear with the use and aid of bear bait attractants, including scented sprays, aerosols, scent balls, and scent powders, and no rule established by the Wildlife Resources Commission shall allow for the taking of a black bear while it is consuming bait. No wild turkey may be taken from an area in which bait has been placed until the expiration of 10 days after the bait has been consumed or otherwise removed. The taking of wild animals and wild birds with poisons, drugs, explosives, and electricity is governed by G.S. 113-261, G.S. 113-262, and Article 22A of this Subchapter.

      Upon finding that the placement of processed food products in areas frequented by black bears is detrimental to the health of individual black bears or is attracting and holding black bears in an area to the extent that the natural pattern of movement and distribution of black bears is disrupted and bears' vulnerability to mortality factors, including hunting, is increased to a level that causes concern for the population, the Wildlife Resources Commission may adopt rules to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the placement of those products and prescribe time limits during which hunting is prohibited in areas where those products have been placed.

      Any person who is convicted of unlawfully taking bear with the use or aid of any type of bait as provided by this subsection or by rules adopted pursuant to this subsection is punishable as provided by G.S. 113-294(c1).

(c)        It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person taking wildlife to have in his possession any:

(1)        Repealed by Session Laws 2013-369, s. 23, effective October 1, 2013.

(2)        Weapon of mass death and destruction as defined in G.S. 14-288.8, other than a suppressor or other device designed to muffle or minimize the report of a firearm that is lawfully possessed by a person in compliance with 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53 §§ 5801-5871.

The Wildlife Resources Commission may prohibit individuals training dogs or taking particular species from carrying axes, saws, tree-climbing equipment, and other implements that may facilitate the unlawful taking of wildlife, except tree-climbing equipment may be carried and used by persons lawfully taking raccoons and opossums during open season.

(d)        In accordance with governing rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission imposing further restrictions that may be necessary, hunters may conduct field trials with dogs in areas and at times authorized with the use of approved weapons and ammunition. The Wildlife Resources Commission may authorize organized retriever field trials, utilizing domestically raised waterfowl and game birds, to be held under its permit.

(d1)      Except in areas closed to protect sensitive wildlife populations, and subject to conditions and restrictions contained in rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission, hunters may train dogs during the closed season:

(1)        With the use of weapons and ammunition approved by the Wildlife Resources Commission;

(2)        If reasonable control is exercised to prevent the dogs from running unsupervised at large and from killing wild animals and wild birds;

(3)        On land owned or leased by the dog trainer or upon which the person has written permission to train dogs; and

(4)        Using domestically raised waterfowl and game birds, provided the birds are marked and sources are documented as required by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(e)        Raccoons and opossum may be taken at night with dogs during seasons set by rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission with the use of artificial lights of a type designed or commonly used to aid in taking raccoon and opossum. No conveyance may be used in taking any raccoon or opossum at night, but incidental transportation of hunters and dogs to and from the site of hunting is permitted. The Wildlife Resources Commission may by rule prescribe restrictions respecting the taking of frogs, or other creatures not classified as wildlife which may be found in areas frequented by game, with the use of an artificial light, and may regulate the shining of lights at night in areas frequented by deer as provided in subsection (e1).

(e1)      After hearing sufficient evidence and finding as a fact that an area frequented by deer is subject to substantial unlawful night deer hunting or that residents in the area have been greatly inconvenienced by persons shining lights on deer, the Wildlife Resources Commission may by rule prohibit the intentional sweeping of that area with lights, or the intentional shining of lights on deer, during the period either:

(1)        From 11:00 p.m. until one-half hour before sunrise; or

(2)        From one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise.

Before adopting this rule, the Wildlife Resources Commission must propose it at a public hearing in the area to be closed and seek the reactions of the local inhabitants. The rule must exempt necessary shining of lights by landholders, motorists engaged in normal travel on the highway, and campers and others legitimately in the area, who are not attempting to attract wildlife. This subsection does not limit the right of hunters to take raccoon and opossum with dogs lawfully at night with a light under the terms of subsection (e).

(e2)      If the Wildlife Resources Commission has enacted a rule under the authority of subsection (e1) prohibiting the shining of lights from 11:00 p.m. until one-half hour before sunrise in any county or area of a county, the Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized, without holding an additional public hearing, to extend the applicability of that rule to the period one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise upon receipt of a resolution from the board of commissioners of the county requesting extension of the period.

(f)         To keep North Carolina provisions respecting migratory game birds in substantial conformity with applicable federal law and rules, the Wildlife Resources Commission may by rule, or as provided in subsection (f1) of this section, expand or modify provisions of this Article if necessary to achieve such conformity, including allowing the use of electronic calls. In particular, the Commission may prohibit the use of rifles, unplugged shotguns, live decoys, and sinkboxes in the taking of migratory game birds; vary shooting hours; adopt specific distances, not less than 300 yards, hunters must maintain from areas that have been baited, and fix the number of days afterwards during which it is still unlawful to take migratory game birds in the area; and adopt similar provisions with regard to the use of live decoys. In the absence of rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission to the contrary, the rules of the United States Department of the Interior prohibiting the use of rifles, unplugged shotguns, toxic shot and sinkboxes in taking migratory game birds in North Carolina shall apply, and any violation of such federal rules is unlawful.

(f1)       The Commission is authorized to issue proclamations to allow the use of electronic calls or unplugged shotguns to achieve substantial conformity with applicable federal law and rules established by the United States Department of Interior or any successor agency. The Commission may delegate this authority to the Executive Director. Each proclamation shall state the hour and date upon which it becomes effective and shall be issued at least 48 hours prior to the effective date and time. A permanent file of the text of all proclamations shall be maintained in the office of the Executive Director. Certified copies of proclamations are entitled to judicial notice in any civil or criminal proceeding.

The Executive Director shall make a reasonable effort to give notice of the terms of any proclamation to persons who may be affected by it. This effort shall include press releases to communications media, posting of notices at boating access areas and other places where persons affected may gather, personal communication by agents of the Wildlife Resources Commission, and other measures designed to reach persons who may be affected. Proclamations under this subsection shall remain in force until rescinded following the same procedure established for enactment.

(g)        If a season is open permitting such method of taking for the species in question, a hunter may take rabbits, squirrels, opossum, raccoons, fur-bearing animals, and nongame animals and birds open to hunting with a pistol. In addition, a hunter or trapper lawfully taking a wild animal or wild bird by another lawful method may use a knife, pistol, or other swift method of killing the animal or bird taken. The Wildlife Resources Commission may, however, restrict or prohibit the carrying of firearms during special seasons or in special areas reserved for the taking of wildlife with primitive weapons or other restricted methods.

(g1)      The Wildlife Resources Commission may by rule prescribe the types of handguns and handgun ammunition that may be used in taking big game animals other than wild turkey. During the regular gun seasons for taking bear, deer and wild boar these animals may be taken with types of handguns and handgun ammunition that shall be approved for such use by the rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. The Commission shall not provide any special season for the exclusive use of handguns in taking wildlife.

(h)        In the interests of enhancing the enjoyment of sportsmen, and if consistent with conservation objectives, the Wildlife Resources Commission may by rule relax requirements of this section on controlled shooting preserves and in other highly controlled situations.

(i)         The intentional destruction or substantial impairment of wildlife nesting or breeding areas or other purposeful acts to render them unfit is unlawful. These prohibitions include cutting down den trees, shooting into nests of wild animals or birds, and despoliation of dens, nests, or rookeries.

(j)         It is unlawful to take deer swimming or in water above the knees of the deer.

(k)        If a hunter kills or wounds a big game animal during the hunting hours authorized by subsection (a) of this section, the hunter may use a portable light source and a single dog on a leash to assist the hunter in retrieving the dead or wounded big game animal, and may dispatch a wounded big game animal using only a .22-caliber rimfire pistol, archery equipment, or a handgun otherwise legal for that hunting season. Pursuit and retrieval under this subsection may occur between the hours of one-half hour after sunset and 11:00 p.m. if necessary, but such pursuit and retrieval may not be accomplished using a motorized vehicle.

For purposes of this section, the term "dispatch" means the quick and humane killing of a wounded animal to prevent further suffering through infection, starvation, or other distress in the wild.  (C.S., s. 2124; 1935, c. 486, s. 20; 1939, c. 235, s. 1; 1949, c. 1205, s. 3; 1955, c. 104; 1959, cc. 207, 500; 1961, c. 1182; 1963, c. 381; c. 697, ss. 1, 3˝; 1967, c. 858, s. 1; c. 1149, s. 1.5; 1969, cc. 75, 140; 1971, c. 439, ss. 1-3; c. 899, s. 1; 1973, c. 1096; c. 1262, s. 18; 1975, c. 669; 1977, c. 493; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1285, ss. 4-6; 1983, c. 137, ss. 1, 2; c. 492; 1985, c. 360; c. 554, ss. 1, 2; 1987, cc. 97, 134, 827, s. 98; 1993, c. 539, s. 862; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 64, s. 1; 1999-120, s. 1; 2003-160, s. 1; 2005-76, ss. 1, 2; 2005-298, s. 1; 2007-401, s. 6; 2009-221, ss. 2, 3; 2011-22, s. 1; 2011-369, s. 4; 2013-283, s. 12; 2013-369, s. 23.)

 

§ 113-291.1A.  Computer-assisted remote hunting prohibited.

(a)        It is unlawful for a person to engage in computer-assisted remote hunting or provide or operate a facility that allows others to engage in computer-assisted remote hunting if the wild animal or wild bird being hunted or shot is located in this State.

(b)        For purposes of this section "computer-assisted remote hunting" means the use of a computer or other device, equipment, or software, to remotely control the aiming and discharging of a firearm or other weapon, that allows a person, not physically present at the location of that firearm or other weapon, to hunt or shoot a wild animal or wild bird. (2005-62, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-291.2.  Seasons and bag limits on wild animals and birds; including animals and birds taken in bag; possession and transportation of wildlife after taking.

(a)        In accordance with the supply of wildlife and other factors it determines to be of public importance, the Wildlife Resources Commission may fix seasons and bag limits upon the wild animals and wild birds authorized to be taken that it deems necessary or desirable in the interests of the conservation of wildlife resources. The authority to fix seasons includes the closing of seasons completely when necessary and fixing the hours of hunting. The authority to fix bag limits includes the setting of season and possession limits. Different seasons and bag limits may be set in differing areas; early or extended seasons and different or unlimited bag limits may be authorized on controlled shooting preserves, game lands, and public hunting grounds; and special or extended seasons may be fixed for those engaging in falconry, using primitive weapons, or taking wildlife under other special conditions.

Unless modified by rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission or as provided in subsection (f) of this section, the seasons, shooting hours, bag limits, and possession limits fixed by the United States Department of Interior or any successor agency for migratory game birds in North Carolina must be followed, and a violation of the applicable federal rules is hereby made unlawful. When the applicable federal rules require that the State limit participation in seasons and/or bag limits for migratory game birds, the Wildlife Resources Commission may schedule managed hunts for migratory game birds. Participants in such hunts shall be selected at random by computer, and each applicant 16 years of age or older shall have the required general hunting license and the waterfowl hunting license prior to the drawing for the managed hunt. Each applicant under 16 years of age shall either have the required general hunting license and the waterfowl hunting license or shall apply as a member of a party that includes a properly licensed adult. All applications for managed waterfowl hunts shall be screened prior to the drawing for compliance with these requirements. A nonrefundable fee of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be required of each applicant to defray the cost of processing the applications.

(a1)      When the Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission receives a petition from the State Health Director declaring a rabies emergency for a particular county or district pursuant to G.S. 130A-201, the Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission shall develop a plan to reduce the threat of rabies exposure to humans and domestic animals by foxes, raccoons, skunks, or bobcats in the county or district. The plan shall be based upon the best veterinary and wildlife management information and techniques available. The plan may involve a suspension or liberalization of any regulatory restriction on the taking of foxes, raccoons, skunks, or bobcats, except that the use of poisons, other than those used with dart guns, shall not be permitted under any circumstance. If the plan involves a suspension or liberalization of any regulatory restriction on the taking of foxes, raccoons, skunks, or bobcats, the Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission shall prepare and adopt temporary rules setting out the suspension or liberalization pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.1(a)(1). The Executive Director shall publicize the plan and the temporary rules in the major news outlets that serve the county or district to inform the public of the actions being taken and the reasons for them. Upon notification by the State Health Director that the rabies emergency no longer exists, the Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission shall cancel the plan and repeal any rules adopted to implement the plan. The Executive Director of the Wildlife Resources Commission shall publicize the cancellation of the plan and the repeal of any rules in the major news outlets that serve the county or district.

(b)        Any individual hunter or trapper who in taking a wild animal or bird has wounded or otherwise disabled it must make a reasonable effort to capture and kill the animal or bird. All animals and birds taken that can be retrieved must be retrieved and counted with respect to any applicable bag limits governing the individual taking the animal or bird.

(c)        An individual who has lawfully taken game within applicable bag, possession, and season limits may, except as limited by rules adopted pursuant to subsection (c1) of this section, after the game is dead, possess and personally transport it for his own use by virtue of his hunting license, and without any additional permit, subject to tagging and reporting requirements that may apply to the fox and big game, as follows:

(1)        In an area in which the season is open for the species, the game may be possessed and transported without restriction.

(2)        The individual may possess and transport the game lawfully taken on a trip:

a.         To his residence;

b.         To a preservation or processing facility that keeps adequate records as prescribed in G.S. 113-291.3(b)(3) or a licensed taxidermist;

c.         From a place authorized in subparagraph b to his residence.

(3)        The individual may possess the game indefinitely at his residence, and may there accumulate lawfully-acquired game up to the greater of:

a.         The applicable possession limit for each species; or

b.         One half of the applicable season limit for each species.

The above subdivisions apply to an individual hunter under 16 years of age covered by the license issued to his parent or guardian, if he is using that license, or by the license of an adult accompanying him. An individual who has lawfully taken game as a landholder without a license may possess and transport the dead game, taken within applicable bag, possession, and season limits, to his residence. He may indefinitely retain possession of such game, within aggregate possession limits for the species in question, in his residence.

(c1)      In the event that the Executive Director finds that game carcasses or parts of game carcasses are known or suspected to carry an infectious or contagious disease that poses an imminent threat to the health or habitat of wildlife species, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall adopt rules to regulate the importation, transportation, or possession of those carcasses or parts of carcasses that, according to wildlife disease experts, may transmit such a disease.

(d)        Except in the situations specifically provided for above, the Wildlife Resources Commission may by rule impose reporting, permit, and tagging requirements that may be necessary upon persons:

(1)        Possessing dead wildlife taken in open season after the close of that season.

(2)        Transporting dead wildlife from an area having an open season to an area with a closed season.

(3)        Transporting dead wildlife lawfully taken in another state into this State.

(4)        Possessing dead wildlife after such transportation.

The Wildlife Resources Commission in its discretion may substitute written declarations to be filed with agents of the Commission for permit and tagging requirements.

(e)        Upon application of any landholder or agent of a landholder accompanied by a fee of fifty dollars ($50.00), the Executive Director may issue to such landholder or agent a special license and a number of special antlerless or antlered deer tags that in the judgment of the Executive Director is sufficient to accommodate the landholder or the landholder's agent's deer population management objectives or correct any deer population imbalance that may occur on the property. Subject to applicable hunting license requirements, the special deer tags may be used by any person or persons selected by the landholder or his agent as authority to take antlerless deer, including male deer with "buttons" or spikes not readily visible, or antlered deer on the tract of land concerned during any established deer hunting season. The Executive Director or designee may stipulate on the license that special deer tags for antlered deer, if applicable, may only be valid for deer that meet certain minimum harvest criteria. The Executive Director or designee may also define on the license valid hunt dates that fall outside of the general deer hunting season. Harvested antlerless or antlered deer for which special tags are issued shall be affixed immediately with a special deer tag and shall be reported immediately in the wildlife cooperator tagging book supplied with the special deer tags. This tagging book and any unused tags shall be returned to the Commission within 15 days of the close of the season. The Wildlife Resources Commission may offer an alternate reporting system when the Commission determines that such an alternate system is appropriate. Antlerless or antlered deer taken under this program and tagged with the special tags provided shall not count as part of the daily bag, possession, and season limits of the person taking the deer.

(f)         The Commission is authorized to issue proclamations to set seasons, shooting hours, bag limits, and possession limits that are congruent with the season framework established by the United States Department of Interior or any successor agency. The Commission may delegate this authority to the Executive Director. Each proclamation shall state the hour and date upon which it becomes effective and shall be issued at least 48 hours prior to the effective date and time. A permanent file of the text of all proclamations shall be maintained in the office of the Executive Director. Certified copies of proclamations are entitled to judicial notice in any civil or criminal proceeding.

The Executive Director shall make a reasonable effort to give notice of the terms of any proclamation to persons who may be affected by it. This effort shall include press releases to communications media, posting of notices at boating access areas and other places where persons affected may gather, personal communication by agents of the Wildlife Resources Commission, and other measures designed to reach persons who may be affected. Proclamations under this subsection shall remain in force until rescinded following the same procedure established for enactment.  (1935, c. 486, ss. 16, 17; 1949, c. 1205, s. 1; 1973, c. 1262, s. 18; 1977, c. 499, s. 1; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1285, s. 7; 1981, c. 681, s. 1; 1987, c. 38; c. 827, s. 98; 1989, c. 642, s. 2; 1995, c. 181, s. 1; 1997-402, s. 2; 1999-339, s. 7; 2003-344, ss. 7, 8; 2005-82, s. 2; 2007-401, s. 3; 2009-221, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-291.3.  Possession, sale, and transportation of wildlife.

(a)        Live wildlife and the nests and eggs of wild birds may be taken, possessed, transported, bought, sold, imported, exported, or otherwise acquired or disposed of only as specifically authorized in this Subchapter or its implementing rules. The Wildlife Resources Commission may impose necessary reporting, permit, and tagging requirements in regulating activities involving live wildlife and the nests and eggs of wild birds. The Wildlife Resources Commission may charge a reasonable fee to defray the cost of any tagging procedure.

(b)        With respect to dead wildlife:

(1)        Lawfully taken wildlife may be possessed and transported as provided in G.S. 113-291.2. Wildlife possessed under any dealer license may be possessed and transported in accordance with the provisions of law and rules applicable to the license, and wildlife may be sold to qualified persons if authorized under provisions governing the license. In other situations, except as this Subchapter may expressly provide, possession and transportation of wildlife may be regulated by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(2)        Unless there is a specific restriction on the transfer of the species in question, an individual may accept the gift of wildlife lawfully taken within North Carolina if taking possession does not cause him to exceed applicable possession limits. If he notes and preserves in writing the name and address of the donor and under what license or exemption from license requirements the wildlife was taken, he may possess that wildlife without a permit in the places possession without a permit would be authorized in G.S. 113-291.2 had he taken the wildlife.

(3)        A licensed taxidermist or other licensed dealer taking temporary possession of wildlife of another may possess the wildlife that he is authorized to handle under his license in accordance with the rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. A person not a dealer operating a preservation or processing facility, whether commercially or not, may possess the wildlife owned by another without any permit or license if he ascertains that the wildlife was lawfully taken within the State and keeps a written record of:

a.         The name and address of the owner of the wildlife and an adequate description of the wildlife left with him. If the description of the wildlife changes as the result of processing, the new description must be recorded.

b.         The date, serial number, and type of the license under which the wildlife was taken or the applicable exemption from license requirements which the taker met.

c.         The date all wildlife left with him is received and returned to the owner. If the receiving or returning of possession is to an agent or common carrier or otherwise occurs under circumstances in which permit requirements may apply, the type and date of the permit which authorizes the transaction must also be recorded.

(4)        The sale of rabbits and squirrels and their edible parts not for resale is permitted. If the Wildlife Resources Commission finds that affected game populations would not be endangered, it may authorize the sale of heads, antlers, horns, hides, skins, plumes, feet, and claws of one or more game animals or birds. In addition, it may authorize the sale of bobcats, opossums, and raccoons, and their parts, following their taking as game animals. No part of any bear or wild turkey may be sold under the above provisions, however, and no part of any fox taken in North Carolina may be sold except as provided in G.S. 113-291.4. In regulating sales, the Wildlife Resources Commission may impose necessary permit requirements.

(5)        Lawfully taken fur-bearing animals and their parts, including furs and pelts, may, subject to any tagging and reporting requirements, be possessed, transported, bought, sold, given or received as a gift, or otherwise disposed of without restriction. The Wildlife Resources Commission may regulate the importation of wildlife from without the State by fur dealers, and may regulate the sale of fox fur and other wildlife hides taken within the State if sale of them is authorized. Fox furs lawfully taken without the State may be imported, possessed, transported, bought, sold, and exported in accordance with reasonable rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. Processed furs acquired through lawful channels within or without the State by persons other than fur dealers are not subject to rule.

(6)        Nongame animals and birds open to hunting and nongame fish lawfully taken, except as this Subchapter and its implementing rules expressly provide otherwise, may be possessed, transported, bought, sold, given or received as a gift, or otherwise disposed of without restriction.

(7)        The possession and disposition of wild animals and wild birds killed accidentally or to prevent or halt depredations to property are governed by G.S. 113-274(c)(1a).

(8)        The edible parts of deer raised domestically in another state may be transported into this State and resold as a meat product for human consumption when the edible parts have passed inspection in the other state by that state's inspection agency or the United States Department of Agriculture.

(c)        The Wildlife Resources Commission may make reasonable rules governing the marking of packages, crates, and other containers in which wildlife may be shipped.

(d)        Any person hiring a hunter or trapper to take game is deemed to be buying game. Any hunter or trapper who may be hired is deemed to be selling game. (1935, c. 486, ss. 19, 22; 1941, c. 231, s. 1; 1973, c. 1262, s. 18; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1285, s. 8; 1987, c. 827, s. 98; 1997-142, s. 15; 1997-456, s. 44.)

 

§ 113-291.4.  Regulation of foxes; study of fox and fur-bearer populations.

(a)        All of the regulatory powers granted the Wildlife Resources Commission generally with respect to game, wild animals, and wildlife apply to foxes unless there are specific overriding restrictions in this section.

(b)        Except for any closed season under subsection (h), foxes may be taken with dogs both night and day on a year-round basis.

(c)        Foxes may not be taken with firearms except:

(1)        As provided in subsection (f) or (i) of this section or G.S. 113-291.4A(a).

(2)        As an incidental method of humanely killing them following any lawful method of taking that does not result in death.

(3)        When they are lawfully shot under laws and rules pertaining to the destruction of animals committing depredations to property.

(d)        Foxes may not be taken with the aid of any electronic calling device.

(e)        The Wildlife Resources Commission is directed to improve its capabilities for studying fox and fur-bearer populations generally and, on the basis of its present knowledge and future studies, to implement management methods and impose controls designed to produce optimum fox and fur-bearer populations in the various areas of the State.

(f)         If, on the basis of its studies and other information available, the Wildlife Resources Commission determines the population of foxes in an area is fully adequate to support a harvesting of that population, the Wildlife Resources Commission may, upon passage of local legislation permitting same, open a season for taking foxes by trapping. When the season is open for trapping, foxes may also be taken by the use of methods lawful for taking game animals, including the use of firearms. Any bag, possession, or season limits imposed on foxes taken from the area in question will apply in the aggregate to all foxes killed without regard to the method of taking.

(f1)       In those counties in which open seasons for taking foxes with weapons and by trapping were established between June 18, 1982, and July 1, 1987, in accordance with the procedure then set forth in subsection (f) of this section, the Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized to continue such seasons from year to year so long as the fox populations of such counties remain adequate to support the resulting harvest. The counties referred to in this subsection are as follows: Caswell, Clay, Graham, Henderson, Hyde, Macon, and Tyrrell.

(g)        The Wildlife Resources Commission may provide for the sale of foxes lawfully taken in areas of open season as provided in subsection (f), under a system providing strict controls. The Wildlife Resources Commission must implement a system of tagging foxes and fox furs with a special fox tag, and the Commission may charge two dollars and twenty-five cents ($2.25) for each tag furnished to hunters, trappers, and fur dealers. The fox tag or tags must be procured before taking foxes by any method designed to kill foxes or when the intent is to harvest foxes. The number of tags furnished to any individual may be limited as to area and as to number in accordance with area, bag, possession, or season limits that may be imposed on foxes. No person may continue to hunt or trap foxes under this fox harvesting provision unless he still has at least one valid unused fox tag lawful for use in the area in question. A person hunting foxes with dogs not intending to kill them need not have any fox tag, but any fox accidentally killed by that hunter must be disposed of without sale as provided below, and no foxes not tagged may be sold. The Wildlife Resources Commission may by rule provide reporting and controlled-disposition requirements, not including sale, of foxes killed accidentally by dog hunters, motor vehicles, and in other situations; it may also impose strict controls on the disposition of foxes taken by owners of property under the laws and rules relating to depredations, and authorize sale under controlled conditions of foxes taken under depredation permits.

(h)        In any area of the State in which the Wildlife Resources Commission determines that hunting of foxes with dogs has an appreciably harmful effect upon turkey restoration projects, it may declare a closed season for an appropriate length of time upon the taking with dogs of all species of wild animals and birds. Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 113-291.1(d) or (d1), this subsection does not prohibit lawful field trials or the training of dogs.

(i)         Upon notification by the State Health Director of the presence of a contagious animal disease in a local fox population, the Commission is authorized to establish such population control measures as are appropriate until notified by public health authorities that the problem is deemed to have passed.  (1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1203, ss. 1-3; 1985, c. 476, s. 2; 1987, c. 726, s. 1; c. 827, s. 98; 1989, c. 504, s. 2; c. 616, s. 4; c. 727, s. 113; 1991, c. 483, s. 1(a), (b); 1993, c. 208, s. 4; 2008-102, s. 3.)

 

§ 113-291.4A.  Open seasons for taking foxes with firearms.

(a)        There is an open season for the taking of foxes with firearms in all areas of the State east of Interstate Highway 77 and in Mitchell and Caldwell Counties from the beginning of the season established by the Wildlife Resources Commission for the taking of rabbits and quail through January 1 of each year. The selling, buying, or possessing for sale of any fox or fox part taken pursuant to this subsection is prohibited, and is punishable as provided by G.S. 113-294(a) or (j).

(b)        The Wildlife Resources Commission shall establish appropriate bag and season limits that may be imposed upon the taking of foxes pursuant to this act, and may make reasonable rules governing the possession of foxes killed by motor vehicles or other accidental means. (1989, c. 616, s. 1; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 811; 1995, c. 32, s. 1; 1999-456, s. 32.)

 

§ 113-291.5.  Regulation of dogs used in hunting; limitations on authority of Wildlife Resources Commission; control of dogs on game lands; control of dogs chasing deer; other restrictions.

(a)        Except as provided in G.S. 113-291.4, in the area described below, the Wildlife Resources Commission may regulate the use of dogs taking wildlife with respect to seasons, times, and places of use. The area covered by this subsection is that part of the State in and west of the following counties or parts of counties: Rockingham; Guilford; that part of Alamance and Orange lying south of Interstate Highway 85; Chatham; that part of Wake lying south of N.C.  Highway 98; Lee; Randolph; Montgomery; Stanly; Union; and that part of Anson lying west of N.C. Highway 742.

(b)        In the area of the State lying east of that described in subsection (a), the Wildlife Resources Commission may not restrict or  prohibit the use of dogs in hunting or the training of dogs, in season or out, except during the breeding and raising seasons for game during the period April 15 through June 15.

(c)        On game lands, wildlife refuges, and public hunting grounds the Wildlife Resources Commission may regulate the possession and use of dogs and may impound dogs found running at large without supervision or, if unsupervised, without means of identification.

(d)        The Wildlife Resources Commission may not by its rules anywhere in the State restrict the number of dogs used in hunting or require that any particular breed of dog be used in hunting.

(e)        It is unlawful to allow dogs not under the control of the owner or the individual in possession of the dogs to run or chase deer during the closed deer season.

(f)         Nothing in this section is intended to require the leashing or  confining of pet dogs. (1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 98.)

 

§ 113-291.6.  Regulation of trapping.

(a)        No one may take wild animals by trapping upon the land of another without having in his possession written permission issued and dated within the previous year by the owner of the land or his agent. This subsection does not apply to public lands on which trapping is not specifically prohibited, including tidelands, marshlands, and any other untitled land.

(b)        No one may take wild animals by trapping with any steel-jaw, leghold, or conibear trap unless it:

(1)        Has a jaw spread of not more than seven and one-half inches.

(2)        Is horizontally offset with closed jaw spread of at least three sixteenths of an inch for a trap with a jaw spread of more than five and one-half inches. This subdivision does not apply if the trap is set in the water with quick-drown type of set.

(3)        Is smooth edged and without teeth or spikes.

(4)        Has a weather-resistant permanent tag attached legibly giving the trapper's name and address.

A steel-jaw or leghold trap set on dry land with solid anchor may not have a trap chain longer than eight inches from trap to anchor unless fitted with a shock-absorbing device approved by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(c)        No person may set or otherwise use a trap so that animals or birds when caught will be suspended. No hook of any type may be used to take wild animals or wild birds by trapping.

(d)        Conibear type traps that have an inside jaw spread or opening (width or height) greater than seven and one-half inches and no larger than 26 inches in width and 12 inches in height may only be set in the water and in areas in which beaver and otter may be lawfully trapped. For the purposes of this section:

(1)        A water-set trap is one totally covered by water with the anchor secured in water deep enough to drown the animal trapped quickly.

(2)        In areas of tidal waters, the mean high water is considered covering water.

(3)        In reservoir areas, covering water is the low water level prevailing during the preceding 24 hours.

(4)        Marshland, as defined in G.S. 113-229(n)(3), is not considered dry land.

(e)        With respect to any lawfully placed trap of another set in compliance with the provisions of this section, no one without the express permission of the trapper may:

(1)        Remove or disturb any trap; or

(2)        Remove any fur-bearing animal from the trap.

This subsection does not apply to wildlife protectors or other law-enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties.

(f)         Nothing in this section prohibits the use of steel- or metal-jaw traps by county or State public health officials or their agents to control the spread of disease when the use of these traps has been declared necessary by the State Health Director.

(g)        The Wildlife Resources Commission must include the trapping requirements of this section in its annual digest of hunting and trapping rules provided to each person upon purchase of a license.

(h)        A person who has been issued a depredation permit for coyotes under G.S. 113-274(c) may use a Collarumm™ trap, or similar trap approved by the Wildlife Resources Commission, solely for the purpose of taking coyotes under that permit. The person authorized to use these traps pursuant to this subsection shall provide information on the effectiveness and efficiency of the traps as requested by the Commission. To minimize the risk of harm to nontargeted species, any such trap set shall be attended daily and any nontarget animal caught released.  (1977, c. 933, ss. 2, 7; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1981, c. 729; 1987, c. 827, s. 98; 1989, c. 727, s. 114; 1997-418, s. 5; 2009-120, s. 1; 2010-156, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-291.7.  Regulation of bears; limited retention of local acts closing bear seasons.

Local acts closing the season on bears are exempted from the provisions of G.S. 113-133.1(b) until July 1, 1981. After that date any local acts setting a year-round closed season on bears which have not by their terms expired are temporarily retained until the Wildlife Resources Commission supersedes them by adopting rules either opening a season in the county affected or carrying forward the closed-season provision. (1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 98.)

 

§ 113-291.8.  Requirement to display hunter orange.

(a)        Any person hunting game animals other than foxes, bobcats, raccoons, and opossum, or hunting upland game birds other than wild turkeys, or hunting feral swine, with the use of firearms, must wear a cap or hat on his head made of hunter orange material or an outer garment of hunter orange visible from all sides. Any person hunting deer during a deer firearms season shall wear hunter orange. Hunter orange material is a material that is a daylight fluorescent orange color.

This section does not apply to a landholder, his spouse, or children, who are hunting on land held by the landholder. This subsection shall be enforced by warning ticket only until October 1, 1992, with respect to those hunting rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant, and quail.

(b)        Any person violating this section during the 1987 big game hunting season shall be given a warning of violation only. Thereafter, any person violating this section has committed an infraction and shall pay a fine of twenty-five dollars ($25.00). An infraction is an unlawful act that is not a crime. The procedure for charging and trying an infraction is the same as for a misdemeanor, but conviction of an infraction has no consequence other than payment of a fine. A person convicted of an infraction may not be assessed court costs.

Wildlife Enforcement Officers are authorized to charge persons with the infraction created by this section.

(c)        Failure to wear hunter orange material in violation of this section shall not constitute negligence per se or contributory negligence per se.  (1987, c. 72, s. 1; 1991, c. 71, s. 1; 2007-401, s. 4; 2011-369, s. 5.)

 

§ 113-291.9.  Taking of beaver.

(a)        Notwithstanding any other law, there is an open season for taking beaver with firearms or bow and arrow during any open season for the taking of wild animals, provided that permission has been obtained from the owner or lessee of the land on which the beaver is being taken.

(b)        Notwithstanding any other law, it is lawful to use or sell beaver parts taken under a depredation permit issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(c)        Notwithstanding G.S. 113-291.6(d) or any other law, it is lawful to set traps of the conibear type that have an inside jaw spread or opening (width or height) no larger than 26 inches in width and 12 inches in height if at least one-half of the trap is covered by water, when trapping beaver during the season for trapping beaver as established by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(d)        Notwithstanding G.S. 113-291.1(b)(2) or any other law, it is lawful to use snares when trapping beaver during the season for trapping beaver as established by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(e)        Repealed by Session Laws 1993, c. 33, s. 1.

(f)         Notwithstanding any other provision of law, landowners whose property is or has been damaged or destroyed by beaver may take beaver on their property by any lawful method without obtaining a depredation permit from the Wildlife Resources Commission, and may obtain assistance from other persons in taking the depredating beaver by giving those persons permission to take beaver on the landowner's property.

(g)        Repealed by Session Laws 1997-456, s. 53.  (1991, c. 483, s. 3; 1993, c. 33, s. 1; 1995, c. 509, s. 56; 1997-97, s. 1; 1997-456, s. 53; 2007-401, s. 2; 2009-120, s. 2.)

 

§ 113-291.10.  Beaver Damage Control Advisory Board.

(a)        There is established the Beaver Damage Control Advisory Board. The Board shall consist of nine members, as follows:

(1)        The Executive Director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, or his designee, who shall serve as chair;

(2)        The Commissioner of Agriculture, or a designee;

(3)        The Assistant Commissioner of the North Carolina Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or a designee;

(4)        The Director of the Division of Soil and Water Conservation of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or a designee;

(5)        The Director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, or a designee;

(6)        The Secretary of Transportation, or a designee;

(7)        The State Director of the Wildlife Services Division of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or a designee;

(8)        The President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Inc., or a designee, representing private landowners; and

(9)        A representative of the North Carolina Forestry Association.

(b)        The Beaver Damage Control Advisory Board shall develop a statewide program to control beaver damage on private and public lands. The Beaver Damage Control Advisory Board shall act in an advisory capacity to the Wildlife Resources Commission in the implementation of the program. In developing the program, the Board shall:

(1)        Orient the program primarily toward public health and safety and toward landowner assistance, providing some relief to landowners through beaver control and management rather than eradication;

(2)        Develop a priority system for responding to complaints about beaver damage;

(3)        Develop a system for documenting all activities associated with beaver damage control, so as to facilitate evaluation of the program;

(4)        Provide educational activities as a part of the program, such as printed materials, on-site instructions, and local workshops; and

(5)        Provide for the hiring of personnel necessary to implement beaver damage control activities, administer the program, and set salaries of personnel.

No later than March 15 of each year, the Board shall issue a report to the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Natural and Economic Resources, and the Fiscal Research Division on the results of the program during the preceding year.

(c)        The Wildlife Resources Commission shall implement the program, and may enter a cooperative agreement with the Wildlife Services Division of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, to accomplish the program.

(d)        Notwithstanding G.S. 113-291.6(d) or any other law, it is lawful to use snares when trapping beaver pursuant to the beaver damage control program developed pursuant to this section. The provisions of Chapter 218 of the 1975 Session Laws; Chapter 492 of the 1951 Session Laws, as amended by Chapter 506 of the 1955 Session Laws; and Chapter 1011 of the 1983 Session Laws do not apply to trapping carried out in implementing the beaver damage control program developed pursuant to this section.

(e)        In case of any conflict between G.S. 113-291.6(a) and G.S. 113-291.6(b) and this section, this section prevails.

(f)         Each county that volunteers to participate in this program for a given fiscal year shall provide written notification of its wish to participate no later than September 30 of that year and shall commit the sum of four thousand dollars ($4,000) in local funds no later than September 30 of that year. Funds, as appropriated for this program each fiscal year of the biennium, shall be paid from funds available to the Wildlife Resources Commission to provide the State share necessary to support this program, provided the sum of at least twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) in federal funds is available each fiscal year of the biennium to provide the federal share.  (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 69; 1993, c. 561, s. 111; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 769, s. 27.3; 1995, c. 358, s. 7; c. 437, s. 5; c. 467, s.4; c. 507, s. 26.6; 1996 Second Ex. Sess., c. 18, s. 27.15; 1997-256, s. 10; 1997-347, s. 6; 1997-401, s. 6; 1997-418, s. 5; 1997-443, c. 15.44; 1998-23, s. 16; 1998-212, s. 14.18(a)-(c), (e); 1999-237, s. 15.1(b), (c); 2005-386, s. 1.7; 2007-484, s. 13; 2009-451, s. 13.10; 2011-145, ss. 13.22A(bb), 13.25(rr), 13.29; 2013-155, s. 18.)

 

§ 113-291.11.  Feeding of alligators prohibited.

It is unlawful to intentionally feed alligators outside of captivity. (2007-401, s. 5.)

 

§ 113-291.12.  Unlawful to remove live feral swine from traps.

It is unlawful to remove feral swine from a trap while the swine is still alive or to transport the live swine after that removal.  (2011-369, s. 6(a).)

 

§ 113-292.  Authority of the Wildlife Resources Commission in regulation of inland fishing and the introduction of exotic species.

(a)        The Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized to authorize, license, regulate, prohibit, prescribe, or restrict all fishing in inland fishing waters, and the taking of inland game fish in coastal fishing waters, with respect to:

(1)        Time, place, character, or dimensions of any methods or equipment that may be employed in taking fish;

(2)        Seasons for taking fish;

(3)        Size limits on and maximum quantities of fish that may be taken, possessed, bailed to another, transported, bought, sold, or given away.

(b)        The Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized to authorize, license, regulate, prohibit, prescribe, or restrict:

(1)        The opening and closing of inland fishing waters, whether entirely or only as to the taking of particular classes of fish, use of particular equipment, or as to other activities within the jurisdiction of the Wildlife Resources Commission; and

(2)        The possession, cultivation, transportation, importation, exportation, sale, purchase, acquisition, and disposition of all inland fisheries resources and all related equipment, implements, vessels, and conveyances as necessary to implement the work of the Wildlife Resources Commission in carrying out its duties.

To the extent not in conflict with provisions enforced by the Department, the Wildlife Resources Commission may exercise the powers conferred in this subsection in coastal fishing waters pursuant to its rule of inland game fish in such waters.

(c)        The Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized to make such rules pertaining to the acquisition, disposition, transportation, and possession of fish in connection with private ponds as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this Subchapter and the overall objectives of the conservation of wildlife resources.

(c1)      The Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized to issue proclamations suspending or extending the hook-and-line season for striped bass in the inland and joint waters of coastal rivers and their tributaries, and the Commission may delegate this authority to the Executive Director. Each proclamation shall state the hour and date upon which it becomes effective, and shall be issued at least 48 hours prior to the effective date and time. A permanent file of the text of all proclamations shall be maintained in the office of the Executive Director. Certified copies of proclamations are entitled to judicial notice in any civil or criminal proceeding.

The Executive Director shall make reasonable effort to give notice of the terms of any proclamation to persons who may be affected by it. This effort shall include press releases to communications media, posting of notices at boating access areas and other places where persons affected may gather, personal communication by agents of the Wildlife Resources Commission, and other measures designed to reach persons who may be affected. Proclamations under this subsection shall remain in force until rescinded following the same procedure established for enactment.

(d)        The Wildlife Resources Commission is authorized to authorize, license, regulate, prohibit, prescribe, or restrict anywhere in the State the acquisition, importation, possession, transportation, disposition, or release into public or private waters or the environment of zoological or botanical species or specimens that may threaten the introduction of epizootic disease or may create a danger to or an imbalance in the environment inimical to the conservation of wildlife resources. This subsection is not intended to give the Wildlife Resources Commission the authority to supplant, enact any conflicting rules, or otherwise take any action inconsistent with that of any other State agency acting within its jurisdiction.

(e)        It is unlawful for any person to:

(1)        Release or place exotic species of wild animals or wild birds in an area for the purpose of stocking the area for hunting or trapping;

(2)        Release or place species of wild animals or wild birds not indigenous to that area in an area for the purpose of stocking the area for hunting or trapping;

(3)        Take by hunting or trapping any animal or bird released or placed in an area in contravention of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, except under a permit to hunt or trap which may be issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission for the purpose of eradicating or controlling the population of any species of wildlife that has been so released or placed in the area. (1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1973, c. 1262, s. 18; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1983, cc. 555, 615; 1987, c. 827, s. 98; 1991, c. 104, s. 1; c. 636, s. 8; 2003-344, s. 9.)

 

§ 113-293.  Obstructing rivers or creeks; keeping open fishways in dams.

(a), (b) Repealed by Session Laws 1979, c. 830, s. 1.

(c)        It is unlawful for any person in inland fishing waters:

(1)        To set a net of any description across the main channel of any river or creek;

(2)        To erect so as to extend more than three fourths of the distance across any river or creek any stand, dam, weir, hedge, or other obstruction to the passage of fish;

(3)        To erect any stand, dam, weir, or hedge in any part of a river or creek required to be left open for the passage of fish; or,

(4)        Having erected any dam where the same was allowed, to fail to make and keep open such slope or fishway as may be required by law to be kept open for the free passage of fish.

The provisions of this section may not be construed to conflict in any way with the laws and rules of any other agency with jurisdiction over the activity or subject matter in question. (Code, ss. 3387-3389; Rev., s. 2457; 1909, c. 466, s. 1; 1915, c. 84, s. 21; 1917, c. 290, s. 7; C.S., ss. 1878, 1974; 1925, c. 168, s. 2; 1935, c. 35; 1945, c. 776; 1951, c. 1045, s. 1; 1953, cc. 774, 1251; 1963, c. 1097, s. 1; 1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1973, c. 1262, s. 18; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 98.)

 

§ 113-294.  Specific violations.

(a)        Any person who unlawfully sells, possesses for sale, or buys any wildlife is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00), unless a greater penalty is prescribed for the offense in question.

(b)        Any person who unlawfully sells, possesses for sale, or buys any deer or wild turkey is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) in addition to such other punishment prescribed for the offense in question.

(c)        Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, or transports any wild turkey is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) in addition to such other punishment prescribed for the offense in question.

(c1)      Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, transports, sells, possesses for sale, or buys any bear or bear part is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) in addition to such other punishment prescribed for the offense in question. Each of the acts specified shall constitute a separate offense.

(c2)      Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, transports, sells, possesses for sale, or buys any cougar (Felis concolor) is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, unless a greater penalty is prescribed for the offense in question.

(c3)      Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, or transports any elk is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) in addition to such other punishment prescribed for the offense in question.

(d)        Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, or transports any deer is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) in addition to such other punishment prescribed for the offense in question.

(d1)      Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, or transports any deer from land that has been posted in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 14-159.7 without written permission of the landowner, lessee, or the agent of the landowner or lessee is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00).

(e)        Any person who unlawfully takes deer between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise with the aid of an artificial light is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) in addition to such other punishment prescribed for the offense in question.

(f)         Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, transports, sells, or buys any beaver, or violates any rule of the Wildlife Resources Commission adopted to protect beavers, is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, unless a greater penalty is prescribed for the offense in question.

(g)        Any person who unlawfully takes wild animals or birds from or with the use of a vessel equipped with a motor or with motor attached is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, unless a greater penalty is prescribed for the offense in question.

(h)        Any person who willfully makes any false or misleading statement in order to secure for himself or another any license, permit, privilege, exemption, or other benefit under this Subchapter to which he or the person in question is not entitled is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(i)         Any person who violates any provision of G.S. 113-291.6, regulating trapping, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, unless a greater penalty is prescribed for the offense in question.

(j)         Any person who unlawfully sells, possesses for sale, or buys a fox, or who takes any fox by unlawful trapping or with the aid of any electronic calling device is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, unless a greater penalty is prescribed for the offense in question.

(k)        Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 209, s. 1.

(l)         Any person who unlawfully takes, possesses, transports, sells or buys any bald eagle or golden eagle, alive or dead, or any part, nest or egg of a bald eagle or golden eagle is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, unless a greater penalty is prescribed for the offense in question.

(m)       Any person who unlawfully takes any migratory game bird with a rifle; or who unlawfully takes any migratory game bird with the aid of live decoys or any salt, grain, fruit, or other bait; or who unlawfully takes any migratory game bird during the closed season or during prohibited shooting hours; or who unlawfully exceeds the bag limits or possession limits applicable to any migratory game bird; or who violates any of the migratory game bird permit or tagging rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) in addition to any other punishment prescribed for the offense in question.

(n)        Any person who violates any rule of the Commission that restricts access by vehicle on game lands to a person who holds a special vehicular access identification card and permit issued by the Commission to persons who have a handicap that limits physical mobility shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) in addition to any other punishment prescribed for the offense.

(o)        Any person who willfully transports or attempts to transport live coyotes (Cania latrans) into this State for any purpose, or who breeds coyotes for any purpose in this State, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and upon conviction the Wildlife Resources Commission shall suspend any controlled hunting preserve operator license issued to that person for two years.

(p)        Any person who willfully imports or possesses black-tailed or mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus and all subspecies) in this State for any purpose is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(q)        Any person who violates any provision of G.S. 113-291.1A is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(r)        It is unlawful to place processed food products as bait in any area of the State where the Wildlife Resources Commission has set an open season for taking black bears. For purposes of this subsection, the term "processed food products" means any food substance or flavoring that has been modified from its raw components by the addition of ingredients or by treatment to modify its chemical composition or form or to enhance its aroma or taste. The term includes substances modified by sugar, honey, syrups, oils, salts, spices, peanut butter, grease, meat, bones, or blood, as well as extracts of such substances. The term also includes sugary products such as candies, pastries, gums, and sugar blocks, as well as extracts of such products. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the lawful disposal of solid waste or the legitimate feeding of domestic animals, livestock, or birds. The prohibition against taking bears with the use and aid of bait shall not apply to the release of dogs in the vicinity of any food source that is not a processed food product as defined herein. Violation of this subsection constitutes a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).

(s)        Any person who violates the provisions of G.S. 113-291.12 by unlawfully removing feral swine from a trap while the swine is still alive or by transporting such swine after that removal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00). The acts of removal from a trap and of transporting the swine after removal shall constitute separate offenses.  (1935, c. 486, s. 25; 1939, c. 235, s. 2; c. 269; 1941, c. 231, s. 2; c. 288; 1945, c. 635; 1949, c. 1205, s. 4; 1953, c. 1141; 1963, c. 147; c. 697, ss. 2, 31/2; 1965, c. 616; 1967, c. 729; c. 1149, s. 1; 1971, c. 423, s. 1; c. 524; c. 899, s. 2; 1973, c. 677; 1975, c. 216; 1977, c. 705, s. 4; c. 794, s. 2; c. 933, s. 8; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1985, c. 306; c. 554, s. 3; 1987, c. 452, s. 4; c. 827, s. 98; 1989, c. 327, s. 2; 1991, c. 366, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 863; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 209, ss. 1, 2; 2003-96, s. 2; 2003-344, s. 10; 2005-62, s. 2; 2007-96, s. 1; 2011-369, s. 6(b); 2013-380, s. 11.)

 

§ 113-294.1.  Wildlife Poacher Reward Fund.

(a)        There is established in the Office of the State Treasurer the Wildlife Poacher Reward Fund. Monies in the Fund shall be used to pay rewards to persons who provide information to the Wildlife Resources Commission or to law enforcement authorities that results in the arrest and conviction of persons who have committed criminal offenses involving the taking, injury, removal, damage, or destruction of wildlife resources. The Wildlife Resources Commission shall adopt rules for the administration of the Fund for these purposes.

(b)        The assets of the Wildlife Poacher Reward Fund shall be derived from the following:

(1)        A percentage of the compensation paid annually to the Commission as special conditions of offenders' probation in criminal cases involving the taking, injury, removal, damage, or destruction of wildlife pursuant to G.S. 15A-1343(b1)(5), to be set by the Commission at not less than ten percent (10%) of those amounts paid as replacement costs and investigative costs.

(2)        All amounts paid to the Commission under G.S. 15A-1343(b1)(5) as compensation for rewards paid from the Fund.

(3)        The proceeds of any gifts, grants, and contributions to the State which are specifically designated for inclusion in the Fund.

(4)        Any other sources specified by law.  (2013-380, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-295.  Unlawful harassment of persons taking wildlife resources.

(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 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 conviction.

(b)        The Wildlife Resources Commission may, either before or after the institution of any other action or proceeding authorized by this section, institute a civil action for injunctive relief to restrain a violation or threatened violation of subsection (a) of this section pursuant to G.S. 113-131.  The action shall be brought in the superior court of the county in which the violation or threatened violation is occurring or about to occur and shall be in the name of the State upon the relation of the Wildlife Resources Commission.  The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this subsection may, in its discretion, award costs of litigation including reasonable attorney and expert-witness fees to any party. (1987, c. 636, s. 3; 1993, c. 539, s. 864; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

§ 113-296.  Disabled Sportsman Program.

(a)        The Disabled Sportsman Program is established, to be developed and administered by the Wildlife Resources Commission. The Disabled Sportsman Program shall consist of special hunting and fishing activities adapted to the needs of persons with the disabilities described in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)        In order to be eligible for participation in the Disabled Sportsman Program established by this section, an individual must be a holder of a Resident Disabled Veteran or Resident Totally Disabled license or must be able to certify through competent medical evidence one of the following disabilities:

(1)        Missing fifty percent (50%) or more of one or more limbs, whether by amputation or natural causes.

(2)        Paralysis of one or more limbs.

(3)        Dysfunction of one or more limbs rendering the individual unable to perform the tasks of grasping and lifting with the hands and arms or unable to walk without mechanical assistance, other than a cane.

(4)        Disease, injury, or defect confining the individual to a wheelchair, walker, or crutches.

(5)        Legal deafness.

(6)        Legal blindness, for purposes of participation in disabled fishing only.

The disability must be permanent, and an individual loses eligibility to participate in the Disabled Sportsman Program when the specified disability ceases to exist.

(c)        A person who qualifies under subsection (b) of this section may apply for participation in the Disabled Sportsman Program by completing an application supplied by the Wildlife Resources Commission and by supplying the medical evidence necessary to confirm the person's disability. In order to participate in activities under the Program, each disabled participant may be accompanied by an able-bodied companion, who may also participate in the hunting, fishing, or other activity. The Commission shall charge each disabled participant an application fee of ten-dollars ($10.00) to defray the cost of processing the application and administering the special activities provided under the Program. An applicant may apply for any or all available Disabled Sportsman hunts at the time of application for a single fee. Any subsequent applications shall be accompanied by an additional ten-dollar ($10.00) application fee. The participant and the participant's companion shall also obtain any applicable hunting, fishing, or other special license required for the activities.

(d)        In developing the Disabled Sportsman Program, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall:

(1)        Establish special seasons and bag limits for hunting all or selected species of wildlife;

(2)        Authorize the manner for taking wildlife, consistent with State law;

(3)        Permit the use of vehicles and other means of conveyance in areas normally closed to such use;

(4)        Set special fishing seasons and size and creel limits for inland fish; and

(5)        Permit the use of crossbows or other specially equipped bows by persons incapable of arm movement sufficient to operate a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow, but only during a season for hunting with bow and arrow and only during a special hunt organized and supervised by the Wildlife Resources Commission for the Disabled Sportsman Program; and

(6)        Alter any other established rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission pertaining to hunting, fishing, or special activities, as generally applicable or as applicable to game lands, for the purpose of providing access to disabled persons participating in the Disabled Sportsman Program.

The Wildlife Resources Commission may use its game lands for purposes of conducting special activities for the Disabled Sportsman Program, and may enter into agreements with other landholders for purposes of conducting special activities on private lands.

(e)        The Wildlife Resources Commission may establish special activities under the Disabled Sportsman Program for any class or classes of disability described in subsection (b) of this section. The Commission shall publicize these activities through the public media and in the Commission's publications to ensure that disabled persons are notified of the activities and informed about the application process.

(f)         The Wildlife Resources Commission shall hold at least four special hunting activities under the Disabled Sportsman Program per calendar year. The Commission shall alternate the location of these special activities so as to provide equal access to disabled persons in all regions of the State.  (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 557, s. 1; 2005-438, s. 3; 2005-455, s. 1.15; 2008-205, s. 2.)

 

§ 113-297.  Method exemptions for disabled persons.

(a)        Any person whose physical disability makes it impossible for the person to hunt or fish by conventional methods for one year or more may apply to the Wildlife Resources Commission for a hunting or fishing methods exemption allowing that person to hunt or fish in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited by rules adopted by the Commission. The application shall be accompanied by a signed statement from a physician containing the following information:

(1)        The nature of the person's disability;

(2)        The necessity of the exemption in order to allow the person to hunt or fish; and

(3)        Whether the disability is permanent or temporary and, if temporary, the length of time after which the physician anticipates that the person may be able to hunt or fish without the exemption.

The Wildlife Resources Commission may authorize any reasonable exemption in order to permit a disabled person complying with the requirements of this section to hunt or fish and may issue a permit describing the exemption made in each case. The permit may be permanent or, if the disability is temporary, the permit may coincide with the length of time the signed physician's statement indicates the disability is expected to last. A person issued a permit under this section shall possess the permit while hunting or fishing in the exempted manner.

(b)        In addition to providing disabled persons reasonable exemptions from rules adopted by the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Commission may permit a person complying with the application procedure outlined in subsection (a) of this section to use a crossbow or other specially equipped bow if the physician's statement indicates that the person is incapable of arm movement sufficient to operate a longbow, recurve bow, or compound bow. (1995, c. 62, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-298.  Unlawful use of facilities provided for disabled sportsman.

Any person who knowingly uses facilities or participates in activities provided by the Wildlife Resources Commission for disabled sportsmen, when that person does not meet the qualifications for use of those facilities or participation in those activities, is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1997-326, s. 5.)

 

§ 113-299.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 113-300.  Reserved for future codification purposes.