The Outdoor Heritage Act (House Bill 640) officially became law in North Carolina on Wednesday July 8 with the signature of Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor Pat McCrory. The Act, among other important measures, ends the 145 year-old ban against hunting with firearms on Sunday in the Tarheel State.
Upon signing Governor McCrory noted: “The outdoors has always been an integral part of our way of life and this bill has a number of measures that will improve the stewardship of our natural resources.”
The legislation was sponsored by North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Representative Jimmy Dixon and received strong support from the Caucus Co-Chairs Representative John Bell and Senator Buck Newton, as well as Senator Brent Jackson and many other Caucus members.
“Our opportunities to promote our outdoor heritage for future generations have never been greater, or more needed than at this time,” said Rep. Dixon.
Beginning on October 1, 2015, Sunday hunting with firearms on private property will be allowed, provided the hunter has written permission from the landowner, with the following exceptions:
– Hunting between the hours of 9:30am-12:30pm, except on licensed controlled hunting preserves.
– Hunting of all migratory birds.
– Hunting deer with dogs.
– Hunting within 500 yards of a place of worship or within 500 yards of a place of residence not owned by the landowner.
– Hunting within the two most populous counties of Wake and Mecklenberg.
Beyond the Sunday hunting victory, the Outdoor Heritage Act also establishes a Trust Fund to provide for the expansion of opportunities for persons age 16 and under to engage in outdoor recreational activities, implements a “three strikes” rule for trespassers, reviews suspension of hunting privileges for negligent hunters, reduces liability for landowners who allow hunters to retrieve their dogs, and numerous other pro-sportsmen measures.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?