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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
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Experience:  19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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Do the deer hunting laws of North Carolina apply to private property landowners More spec

Customer Question

Do the deer hunting laws of North Carolina apply to private property landowners? More specifically, does the "no discharge of a firearm with 150 yards of a residence" apply to someone hunting on their own land even if there are residences of neighbors within 150 yards of the firearm discharge? Can they discharge a firearm within 150 yards of their own residence? I need a specific statutory reference.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  lwpat replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question and for using JA. Please click accept so I will receive credit from JA for my time.

The laws apply to someone hunting on their own property. That means that you cannot be within 150 yards of a residence other than your own. The law cannot prevent you from hunting in your own backyard as long as you are in compliance with all other rules and regulations. There is no specific statutes that apply to your situation, it is simply a due process issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Either the law states that it applies to individuals hunting on their own property or it doesn't!"Game Lands" is defined in the Regulations Digest as public or private lands. The definition in the law states that "Game Lands" is land owned, leased...or cooperatively managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission for public hunting. The 150 yard rule applies to residences on OR adjacent to game lands. So, if it is considered "Game Lands" then all the rules apply, including the persons residence. If it is not "Game Lands", what makes so a residence on adjacent property is protected? The answer I received says he can hunt in his own backyard and doesn't have to be more than 150 yards from the landowners residence, but he has to be 150 yards away from adjacent residences. If the property does not fall within "Game Lands" how are neighbors protected?
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 2 years ago.
*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.

Are you referring to 15A NCAC 10D .0101 when it comes to a 150 foot restriction? Or a different statute?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Actually, it is 150 yards, not feet. That probably is the statute. (It is referred to on page 62 of the NC Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations digest.) I think it is coming to the point of what are "Game Lands". Are they only "Public Game Lands" owned or leased, or a cooperative agreement between the Wildlife Resource Commission and the landowner or does it also include a person's private property, IF they decide to hunt on it. It is strange because the law specifically states that a landowner, their spouse and children under 18 do not need a license and do not have to wear hunter orange while on their property. I don't know why the law would say that if all the other rules don't apply. The implication is that you can do whatever you want on your property and there are no consequences unless the projectile cuases property or personal harm to someone. I guess there are no restrictions as to what you do on proerty you own, unless something travels into an adjacent property and causes damage. Not much protection if one lives in a development!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just saw that 15A NCAC 10D .0101 was repealed. I can't find a complete definition of "Game Lands".
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

OK, this may be a work in progress, but I'll give it an analysis. First, I find the definition of gamelands here:

North Carolina General Statutes § 113-129 Definitions relating to resources...
(8a) Game Lands. Lands owned, leased, controlled, or cooperatively managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission for public hunting, trapping, or fishing.

http://law.onecle.com/north-carolina/113-conservation-and-development/113-129.html

Then,

15A NCAC 10D .0102 GENERAL REGULATIONS REGARDING USE


...

(g) Use of Weapons. In addition to zone restrictions described in Paragraph (a) no person shall discharge a weapon within 150 yards of any Game Lands building or designated Game Lands camping area, except where posted otherwise, or within 150 yards of any residence located on or adjacent to game lands, except no person shall discharge a firearm within 150 yards of any residence located on or adjacent to Butner-Falls of Neuse and Jordan Game Lands.


...

Is the land to which you refer, that you (or your neighbor) own, "leased, controlled or cooperativly managed" by the Commission? If not, I would argue it is not a gameland, as per the above. Then, if it is not a gameland, than that section following, about 150 yards, would not apply to that neighbor shooting, since it only refers to residences within 150 yards of a gameland.


Now, with regard to your post:

Do the deer hunting laws of North Carolina apply to private property landowners? You'd have to specify which deer hunting law to which you refer, as reading the entire code would exceed the time I can spend here - if the above laws are not the one you are concerned with.

 

More specifically, does the "no discharge of a firearm with 150 yards of a residence" apply to someone hunting on their own land As per the section above, I'd say it does IF their land is a designated GAMELAND, but not if it is not... even if there are residences of neighbors within 150 yards of the firearm discharge? I don't think THAT section would apply, as I discuss above. However, my strong thought for you is that another one might. And that is what I am trying to find...Generally there are laws that say a person can't discharge a firearm within X distance of a residence...the reasons are clear, if you live next door to Johnny, and Johnny decides to target practice out back, his bullet could easily slice through the air, pass onto your property, hitting you or a family member - by accident of course.

 

Can they discharge a firearm within 150 yards of their own residence? I need a specific statutory reference.I am looking for a state law with regard to same, but it may also be a city ordinance. I'll be back to let you know if I found a state section.

 

In the meatime, with regard to your next post to your prior expert:


Either the law states that it applies to individuals hunting on their own property or it doesn't! Yes, this is true, it either states something or it does not state that something - however, that does not necessarily answer your question. For instance, if the law said, "This section applies to ALL persons everywhere - then it WOULD apply to individuals hunting on their own property, even though those words for not used, because individuals hunting on their own property is a subset of "all persons everywhere"....

 

"Game Lands" is defined in the Regulations Digest as public or private lands. Yes, but, it would appear that that is not the end of the definition, since the Commission must have the involvement noted above.

 

The definition in the law states that "Game Lands" is land owned, leased...or cooperatively managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission for public hunting. Exactly! So not all private lands that someone ends up hunting on would be implicated. Do you agree?

 

The 150 yard rule applies to residences on OR adjacent to game lands. So, if it is considered "Game Lands" then all the rules apply, including the persons residence. If it is not "Game Lands", what makes so a residence on adjacent property is protected? That is what I want to know. If the gamelands section does not apply, what protects people from people just shooting off their guns.

 

The answer I received says he who is he??? can hunt in his own backyard and doesn't have to be more than 150 yards from the landowners residence ok, meaning an neighbor, but he has to be 150 yards away from adjacent residences. If the property does not fall within "Game Lands" how are neighbors protected?I agree with you - incidentally, am I now to understand that you are not the hunter, but the neighbor, trying to ensure your neighbor can't be firing his gun near your property?

 

And your last post, above:

 

Actually, it is 150 yards, not feet. Yes, my typo.That probably is the statute. (It is referred to on page 62 of the NC Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations digest.) I don't have the digest, unless you can link me to it.

 

I think it is coming to the point of what are "Game Lands". Are they only "Public Game Lands" owned or leased, or a cooperative agreement between the Wildlife Resource Commission and the landowner or does it also include a person's private property, IF they decide to hunt on it. No, don't think the latter - I think private only if managed, leased or cooperative managed by the Commission.

 

It is strange because the law specifically states that a landowner, their spouse and children under 18 do not need a license and do not have to wear hunter orange while on their property. That may be so, but it would not necessarily leave them free in, say, an apartment in the City, to start shooting their guns...

 

I don't know why the law would say that if all the other rules don't apply. The implication is that you can do whatever you want on your property and there are no consequences unless the projectile cuases property or personal harm to someone. That is only if you think that the law you quoted is the only law out there. I doubt that, and that is what we must find - I suspect there is a law prohibiting discharge within X yards of something, such as a residence - PERIOD. The Gamelands one is specific to gamelands...but that doesn't mean there aren't others specific to non-gamelands.

 

I guess there are no restrictions as to what you do on proerty you own, unless something travels into an adjacent property and causes damage. Not much protection if one lives in a development! I agree! And I can't imagine that to be so. A family member of mine shot a deer in his back lawn and was criminally charged, due to the closeness to the neighbors....that was a different State, however. But I would be shocked and stunned if the same were not true in NC. I'll look some more.

 

Be back later, one way or another.

 


I hope this helps clarify for you.

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Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11682
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Rich, section .0101 was repealed, but I am meaning .0102. See you in a bit!
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Rich,

I was confering with another expert and he is familiar with your hunting regulations. We are in agreement that we are not finding your sections above to rule the day on the neighbor but that country and local ordinances typically set down the rule on the safety issue, and firing in range of other residences. They can also have noise ordinances that may prohibit that activity. Have you had the chance to review those ordinances? While many don't yet publish online, your city hall or municipal building should have that publication. If you DO find it online, and link me to it, I am happy to review it with you, to see what we can come up with. In other words, don't necessarily give up on this just because the gamelands rules don't cover this guy's property. Let me know, I am in and out all week.

Regards!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I live in Summerfield in Guilford County. I also graduated from law school, although I try to keep that a secret! No sense in tarnishing my image. There is a Guilford County ordinance (Sec. 11-1) that refers to discharging a firearm within 150 yards of residences / dwellings and also a Summerfield Ordinance (1999-004) which prohibits gunshots within 1000 feet of a residence unless the resident agrees. Unfortunately, I cannot get it enforced by the Sherrif's Department because of friendships. I am now dealing with the County Attorney and his assistant, who is assigned to the Sheriff's Department. I also, sort of, have an attorney. I was led to believe that the hunting laws applied to private property but I do not believe now that means an individual. It applies to a cooperative agreement with Wildlife Resources and most generally is public utilities and their right of ways, etc. I don't need any more assistance now and your answer was very helpful. I'll get in touch with you if I start getting arrested more frequently than usual. Rich
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Rich, you crack me up! And I don't blame you for keeping your law degree a secret. We are not a popular bunch, in general, 'til they get to know some of us :)

With regard to the Sheriff's department, can you go above his head? Corrupt sheriff - not nice. Or perhaps file a civil lawsuit for noise polution?

Good luck with all, I hope it works out. Have a great week.

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