To the editor:
First, let me start of by saying this, I am an avid hunter and truly believe that providing for your family is important through traditions of hunting. Also, I do not have an issue with hunters running dogs during rifle season in Harnett County. I have an issue with the violation of property owners’ rights during this time.
I have made North Carolina my home after retirement from the U.S. Army, and throughout my time here in North Carolina, I have hunted almost every year. I have become increasingly aware of the style of dogging deer in this county. I have had conflicts with those who run the dogs and also seen the lack of care when it comes to those who honestly do not care about running dogs on your property.
In North Carolina, we have 100 counties. Fifty-one counties have completely banned this practice of hunting, three counties are split, while the other 46 counties allow this method of hunting. Recently SB 274 in Granville County passed a regulation saying that you must have written permission to run dogs on someone’s private property and violation of this will result in a Class 2 Misdemeanor.
So what’s the issue? The issue is simple, if you’re going to run your dogs, please make sure they stay on their property and not someone else’s.
Now, the laws are vague and provide very little information in Harnett County. I would never hurt a dog to prove a point, but there is no law on detaining them and waiting for the owner to retrieve them. I believe the rules need to be implemented immediately regarding the running of dogs on private property. SB 274 was a great start to how this should be implemented, but it was only a start.
I have also bumped into hunters who are proud of their heritage and have personally told me that this will never change.
Harnett County is growing in population and more so through housing developments. Many who come here to live and work do not know the hunting regulations, and this could cause an issue with seeing dogs running across their property.
The time for change is now, not 10 years from now. The voice of the people needs to be heard. I will no longer stand by and allow the property I hunt on to be violated by those who do not care.
I challenge the people of Harnett County and the Board of Commissioners to look into this and not allow influence or the power of the mighty dollar to be the deciding factor. I belong to an amazing group of folks who believe that change is possible through the right channels; this group is called Harnett County Residents Against Running Deer Dogs (located on Facebook). Please join this page and help spread the word.