Hertford County approves new measure for hunters and anglers

Published 5:25 pm Friday, November 18, 2022

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WINTON – The Hertford County Board of Commissioners have approved the addition of a locally enacted law that must gain state approval.

Acting upon a recommendation from Commissioner Leroy Douglas, the board, at their Nov. 7 meeting, gave their approval to a measure that makes it illegal “to hunt, fish or trap on the land of another without the written permission of the landowner or the landowner’s lessee. Written permission shall contain complete contact information for the landowner or the landowner’s lessee.”

Douglas told his fellow board members that he was contacted by a county landowner regarding the possibility of adding this new language to Hertford County’s local legislation that must be introduced and approved by the North Carolina General Assembly before becoming law.

Following a 5-0 vote by the commissioners to approve the new language, the county will forward it to the 5th District office of the NC House of Representatives. That district official represents Hertford, Gates, Pasquotank, and Camden counties.

The measure is part of the state’s Landowner Protection Act. Under the regulations of that Act, sportsmen need written permission, dated within the past 12 months, signed by the landowner or lessee, to hunt, fish, or trap on lands posted with signs or purple paint. Those hunters are required to carry written permission on their person. If a hunting club has leased the land, hunters must have a copy of their hunting club membership and a copy of the landowner permission given to that club.

Many states throughout the United States, to include North Carolina, allow the use of purple paint, as well as traditional signage, to denote posted land.

The Landowner Protection Act does not change general trespass laws nor have any effect on lands that are not posted.

North Carolina Wildlife Commission officers will enforce the Landowner Protection Act. Prior to passage of the Act, those officers were generally required to execute process in order to enforce trespass under G.S. 14-159.10. This means a Wildlife Officer would obtain an arrest warrant or criminal summons prior to enforcing trespass.

The Landowner Protection Act, which went into effect in 2011, makes changes that enable Wildlife Officers to write a citation on site, removing the barrier to proper and efficient enforcement of the existing trespass law.

Visit the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission online for more information, including a sample permission form.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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