Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Wed May 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Splashin' Divers wrote:Sounds like you have a lot of extra time to worry about duck hunting and its laws. No one is denying you the right to public waters. By all means, enjoy it. But in Pamlico and Cartaret Counties, we have a 500 yard law. You can still use those waters. The law does not take those waters away from you. They are still there for every citizen to use. All the law states is that you cant hunt within 500 yards of another hunting location. It doesn't take your right to use that water away from you!


I could use a sarcastic comments like I see so many post on this board; instead, i will ask what I think is a reasonable question, how can you not understand that giving an individual the perpetual and exclusive right to hunting public water is not in line with the GS 145? the local interpretation of the Pamlico county law says I cannot hunt there, period. My right to hunt waters covered by the NC PTD have been taken away by this law.

I would not set up near an occupied blind; however, the Pamilco county law allows greedy people to build fake blinds and keep people from hunting there ever. There are two basic issues my friend - the distance and unoccupied blinds.

If I show up at 5:30 and set my decoys in waters covered by the NC PTD and a shore owner shows up at 6 am to hunt a blind, who has the right to hunt the public water? I say they both do but the crew arriving last should move a safe distance way from the crew arriving first. the blind should give them no preferntial treatment.

You said: "Sounds like you have a lot of extra time to worry about duck hunting and its laws" I believe every hunter has time to fight for fair and equitable duck hunting laws. Many choose not to - that is what those that take from us are counting on.

It would be a lot easier for me to join one of the clubs in Pamlico and say "screw the average duck hunter", I choose not to.
I have said it before, there are laws that benefit one group and disadvantage another group - that does not neccessarily make them right nor does it make them a good idea.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Dingbatter 2 » Thu May 22, 2014 5:27 am

Life isn't fair. Never has been, never will be. What gives one man the right to catch OUR fish and sell them for profit? What gives one man the right to hunt OUR water and exclude the rest of us? :wink:
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Shurshot » Thu May 22, 2014 7:01 am

Apples and oranges Db2. One is limited entry business to SELL fish while the other is purely a recreational right to USE PTD waters. By your analogy, I guess the pubic couldn't fish the same ledge or rock they might be fishing or want to be fishing. :huh:
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Paul26 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:56 pm

Damn fellas: since the last weekend in January I’ve actually got some work done….i.e., not checking duck chat 3x a day at work. You guys have ruined that. This is really an interesting dilemma.

Hyde: You need to send a script of this entire thread to UNC Law School. Let a couple of 1L's play with this and tell you what they think. I bet you there is at least one Law School Professor there (or maybe at Campbell......forget Duke) who is a hunter and would have fun with this.

You'll then know if there is a fighting chance in the courts or not. Correction: you'll have the opinion of a bunch of 1L's as to whether or not there is a fighting chance. Not exactly Perry Mason here…

I am torn on this. There is no doubt in my mind that this law is likely abused by folks. I have heard of the blinds that are nothing but 4 posts and some old camo net, which are just there to close areas.

There is also no doubt in my mind that this area, if this law was entirely removed, would get severely overhunted, and one of the great natural wonders of NC would slowly disappear. It might take a decade or 2, but we are at 9.2 million, and will be at 12 million by 2030.

So I am taking the easy route and saying I am torn here.

Too lazy to do the research: if I am reading the posts correctly, this law started as what we call a “local bill”. So the County Boards in Carteret, Dare, and Pamlico Counties asked their State Reps (local bills start in the House, not the Senate) to submit a local bill to the entire NC House. The strictly enforced unwritten rule is that you never, ever, ever vote against a local bill if the Representative from that County sponsored the bill, which then of course is in effect only in that Rep’s area. The corollary to this is the law will never be changed in the legislature unless these County Board’s go to their reps and ask to change this.

So Hyde, if you are going the legislative route (as your opening letter suggests), you have to start with the County Boards in those Counties. This of course is a waste of time….so the courts are your only option.

Which takes me back to the first year law students. Would be fun to see what those future blood-suckers think.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:20 am

I have talked with several seasoned attorneys on the constitutionality of this law. All agree it would not stand a court challenge. All agree it would take a substantial amount of money in legal fees. The legislators that got this law passed are no longer in office. I have contacted the legislator in the affected counties and asked them to amend but not repeal the local law.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Shurshot » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:51 am

What kind of amendments have you asked for? How amenable have these legislators been? Are you working with them on these issues?
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Paul26 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:46 am

Hyde: your attorney friends are correct. This would be costly if you go with the legal route.

I repeat on the legislative route: if these laws are in the NC General Stautes (vice County Ordinances), they started as what is called a "Local Bill" (I said yesterday it probably did.....now that I think about it, it DEFINITELY did). It doesn't matter who was in office when it passed and who is there now.

General Statutes (G.S.) that came from a local bill that are in effect in Carteret, Pamilco, and Dare will only be changed if:

a. The Carteret County Board asks Rep McElRaft (House District 13) for a change to the G.S. that applies to Carteret County

b. The Pamilco County Board asks Rep Speciale (House District 3) for a change to the G.S. that applies to Pamlico County

c. The Dare County Board asks Rep Tine (House District 6) for a change to the G.S. that applies to Dare County

So in short, I think you are talking to the right folks, but I do not think they will act unless they get this from their respective County Boards. If you are serious here, you need to attend some County Board Meetings and during Public Comment request that the Boards consider this change. Your chances of success are greatly enhanced if you go in with a petition and a group of folks who support your position.

Anyone: for these 3 Counties, is the Hunter Safety Laws, aka the 500 yard rule, a County Ordinance or a General Staute (or both)?
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Splashin' Divers » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:32 am

It is a GS, not a local ordinance. With all due respect, the board of commissioners in Pamlico County are not interested in changing the law, as the majority of the local people think the law needs to stay in place.

Also, the states highest court, The North Carolina Supreme Court, has already ruled in "State vs. JC Gallop" that the legislature may withhold or grant to individuals the right to hunt and kill game, or qualify or restrict it, as in its opinion will best subserve the public welfare. So to say that this local law is a violation of the public trust doctrine, is an out right lie. Oh, and this came directly from our local representative! And as our representative stated, most representatives are not going to override another representative on a local law unless the local representative is in favor! Good Luck!
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:09 am

Hi Splashin, It serves no purpose for us to argue over the technicalities of bills passed by the General Assembly It is not a GS. I think we can agree this was passed in the 1981 Session of the NC General Assembly (chapter 581, Senate Bill 616) these type of things are known as local laws but you are correct it is not a county ordinance it was a law passed by the NC General Assembly.

I do not know what it is about your nature that causes you to call someone a liar for having an opinion that is different from your own. It is not a positive attribute.
I do not think the current wording is constitutional (section 5). I don't have the authority to determine if it is or not. The courts do. If it is unconstitutional, it does not matter if the people of Pamlico county want this law or not. The representatives of the counties affected have sworn an oath to defend and protect the NC Constitution - if challenged, they are bound by their oath.

I do not want the law repealed, I think it is appropriate to amend it or implement a statewide law that sets reasonable and safe boundaries from occupied blinds. Giving private land owners exclusive hunting rights to thousands of acres of waters covered by the NC Public Trust Doctrine is an affront to the citizens of this state.

If you are a shorefront land owner you are fortunate indeed. I wish you the best in hunting your land and in the waters adjacent to it. I fully support the laws that govern trespassing on private property. In my opinion you have no more right to the waters adjacent to your property that the next man.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:17 pm

Hi Splashing,

I had not read the State vs. JC Gallop. Glad you brought it to my attention. It is the most to the point case ruled on by the NC Supreme court that I have read. I think this ruling makes my point on the non constitutionality of the SHL.

I am sure the representatives of the Pamlico and Carteret are honorable and fair minded people. Hopefully they will not put the interest of a few landowners over the rights of the state's citizens.

I am simply looking for safe hunting rules to apply to occupied blinds. If you read the Gallop decision you would understand that landowners have no rights over the water and the fowl that inhabit it.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby wahoowilly » Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:54 pm

Got a link to State vs. JC Gallop?
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Metalman » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:46 pm

:lol: :lol:
I guess I'm gonna have to go get some more popcorn...
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I support "Safe Hunter Law"
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:59 pm

Wahoo, google the State of NC vs J C Gallop and the first record to come up provides an interesting read..
Essentially in the late 1890"s the Currituck Gun Club hired JC Gallop to patrol the waters around the duck hunting marshes they owned so that commoners (like us) would not disrupt their hunting. Two gentlemen were hunting in the sound near one of the marshes and JC sailed a sail boat right up to them. He told them they had to leave because the owners did not want people hunting in the sound near their land. The citizens refused to leave so JC stayed and kept the sails flapping so no waterfowl would come within range. The citizens charged him with interfering with their hunting. A court battle ensued and the NC Supreme Court ruled that the dry land owned by Currituck gun club was protected by trespassing laws but that no individual or groups had exclusive rights to hunting in the sound and JC's conviction was upheld.

Does anyone see a correlation between the actions of Currituck gun club and Pamlico county land owners?
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:21 am

Hi Splashing,
I started this tread with a letter I wrote to the NCWRC. I included an excerpt from a NC court case on one of the activities protected by the NC PTD. "the court turned to an eighty-five-year-old case to make its point: "Navigable waters are free. They cannot be sold or monopolized. They can belong to no one but the public and are reserved for free and unrestricted use by the public for all time. Whatever monopoly may obtain on land, the waters are unbridled yet."226 The court concluded that "[h]istory and the law bestow[ed] the title of these submerged lands ......... upon the State to hold in trust for the people so that all [might] enjoy their beauty and bounty.

I trust you have analytical skills and do not blindly follow the lead of people having self interest that are counter to the best interest of our fellow duck hunters.

Who know who is going to prevail, In my opinion I think this will eventually be overturned. The ruling above and the ruling from the JC Gallop case sure seem to indicate the courts would overturn it.

Corrupt cronyism does not always prevail it just takes time and energy to make a change.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Splashin' Divers » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:27 pm

Navigable waters do belong to the state, they are just restricted in certain areas. Just as bridges are built on navigable water. Have you called the state or feds to findout why they put a bridge on navigable waters and now it alters the course that you have to take to get to your fishing or hunting spot? How about a dock. What gives someone the right to tie up a shoreline because they own land and place a dock there? I understand why, im just curious why your not arguing that? How about the bombing range on the sound. Hell, it ties up most of the best fishing spots on the Pamlico Sound. It is yours, its just restricted in some areas.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:45 pm

Splashing, Those are all good points. there are extensive provisions in the General Statutes that deal with "military danger zones" including how they are established and removed. Our governments, both local and federal, agreed for the protection of the general public there must be places where military exercises and training can take place. Roads and bridges promote commerce, enable defense, and the development of our state and nation. Riparian rights gives a landowner the right to "wharf" in waters adjacent to their property but it does not give them the right to deny use of the water around the wharf (fishing, navigation, etc)

I think you and I agree that open/public water duck hunters should be a reasonable distance apart. What goes on in public impoundments where there are no restrictions is disgraceful. I think we agree you cannot have a reasonable hunt if someone is set up too close to your position. I also think we agree it is also not safe to be within the effective range of another party's shotgun.

I guess we disagree when political cronyism enables one citizen to have exclusive right to hunt specific public water. I would have no problem if the law was restricted to occupied blinds and I would prefer the distance cut to 300 yards.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Splashin' Divers » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:27 am

I will agree that the law could use some type of wording change, however I don't think it should be to an occupied blind. There are times in the year when we hunt certain areas mid day, or don't go to the blind until sun comes up. If it were changed to an occupied blind, that would create an issue.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:53 am

Splashing, I take it that you have blinds in Pamlico. Are your blinds on the shore, out in the sound or in a private impoundment?
If it is on the shore or in the sound I don't understand how a person can think they can exclude others from an area they do not own.

I hunt the sound in a different county, I chose to hunt from a boat so I can adjust to where the birds are flying. if one sees birds consistently flying by a point in the sound I believe if there are no other hunters already at that spot then the person scouting the area should be able to set up in the water and hunt. Just because there is an unoccupied blind less than 500 yards away I do not see why the person should be restricted from hunting.

I had an adjacent landowner build a blind 60 yards away from one of my impoundments. I have several choices including, living with the situation, selling my impoundment and going somewhere else, closing down my impoundment so it is not an attractive place to hunt, or trying to buy the adjacent land. Telling the guy not to hunt on land I do not own is not one of the options.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Team Duckman » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:05 am

Short a court ruling on the law, which was initially pursued some time back and if I recall correctly, they ran out of funds and there were threats of people losing their law careers.

There was a good amount of discussion within the legislature 2 years ago on the matter and those pursuing an amendment had to give up this to get something else they needed much more at the time. The discussion never resurfaced last long session in 2013, which means the power players likely struck a deal to not have further discussion on the matter. The biggest hurdle to clear in the legislature is you'll have to get support from those in the east. Eastern NC doesn't like anyone coming from west of Raleigh and trying to dictate change on their way of life. The hell with the law, its constitutionality, the resource, whatever, in their mind it belongs to them only. Funny how they forget that when they head to the mountains.

I've said it before, the law as written and enforced does little towards its so called intent. It fully meets its true intent. It could use some change but be careful what you wish for, unless you enjoy getting up at 2am to fight thousands of Jr. Commanders for a spot. If you don't understand what I'm saying, go to PP any given opening day or Saturday and see the pinball machine of boat and spotlights down every inch of huntable shoreline.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby HydeMarsh » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:53 pm

Team, Thanks for the background. Am I wrong in thinking this law as written cannot benefit more than a handful of people? Are there that many property owners? A look at GIS shows only a few own most of the best places.

I do not see how it benefits the people of Pamlico county, seems like to me that it keeps most of them from legally hunting in their home county.

The large land owners for the most part do not seem to be Pamlico natives. The ones I am aware of are from Virginia, Pitt county, and some middle NC counties.
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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby FITZH2O » Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:36 am

I want it changed for the simple fact it will spread hunters out over a lot more water. Hunters that don't own a blind or aren't in with the good ole boy network are crowded into a pretty small area.


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Re: Pamlico County Safe hunter Law

Postby Team Duckman » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:57 am

HydeMarsh wrote: Am I wrong in thinking this law as written cannot benefit more than a handful of people? Are there that many property owners? A look at GIS shows only a few own most of the best places.



Guess it depends on what you call a handful. A lot of the landowners lease off portions of their land and/or blinds to other hunters, so the # of hunters impacted doesn't match the landowner. Also remember this law affects not only Pamlico Co but also Carteret as well so there are lots more landowners along the Neuse and other water bodies that are involved as well.

And while FITZ is correct that it would spread people out, it would also draw larger crowds and place extra pressure on the birds in that many of them loaf on open water off the shorelines of the land locked down by the law and not regularly hunted. Again, there is argument to be made on both sides of the coin
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