Commissioners Seek Change in Deer Hunting Season
The state legislature will be asked to align Moore County's deer hunting season with the Eastern Deer Hunting Season.
If the General Assembly approves the change, Moore County will no longer have two different hunting seasons for deer, an issue that confuses the public and does not help to curb the rapidly growing deer population.
Assistant County Attorney Ward Medlin told the Board of Commissioners Monday night that at present Moore County appears to be the only county in the state with a split deer hunting season.
The state controls hunting season laws, and the commissioners have no authority in the matter. However, they can petition their legislative delegation to introduce a bill seeking the change.
And this they did during a Monday night meeting by adopting a resolution urging the legislature "to enact appropriate legislation establishing a single deer hunting season in Moore County aligned with the Eastern Deer Hunting Season."
State Rep. Joe Boylan was in the audience Monday night but did not address the board. He is one of three legislators representing all or parts of Moore County in the General Assembly.
The commissioners held a public hearing on the issue, and no one spoke against the change. But there was wholehearted support for changing the season.
Leon Needham said he has lost a substantial portion of his farm crops in the past two weeks because of a huge deer population.
Elton Turner agreed and said the deer eat all the blossoms off lower branches of trees in his orchard near Vass.
The commissioners also joined in the discussion.
"Everybody knows I'm an avid deer hunter," Commiss-ioner Larry Caddell said. "A lot of people, especially older people, don't understand why they have to wait so late to hunt deer."
"I think deer are beautiful, and I don't hunt them," added Commissioner Tim Lea, but he too had reasons to want to curb their population.
Lea said he recently observed nine deer standing in his yard, where they were eating his wife's garden.
Dr. Cecil Neville presented the request to the commissioners at the April 7 meeting, when the board decided to call a public hearing for April 21. Neville was present Monday night but did not address the board.
Prior to 1978, all of Moore County was in a single deer hunting season. Then the seasons were changed, placing that portion north of N.C. 211 and west of U.S. 1 in the Central Hunting District, which delays the opening of gun season until Nov. 15, continuing until Jan. 1. The remainder of the county stayed in the Eastern district with gun season opening at about Oct. 15 and continuing until Jan. 1.
The resolution prepared by Medlin says that "the deer population and density have increased from the years 2000 to 2005 such that portions of the county now hold the greatest density and population in the state with greater than 45 deer per square mile."
This increase was described as detrimental to farms, commercial nurseries, family gardens, residential ornamental shrubbery and landscaping and has also contributed to an increase in automobile and animal collisions, the resolution adds.
The resolution says further than "the preservation of the existing time constraints and geographical boundaries for deer hunting with dogs is desirable, such that the existing time frames and geographical constraints should be preserved as in keeping with the desires of both dog deer hunters and non-hunters."
Commissioner Cindy Morgan made the motion to adopt the resolution, and approval was unanimous.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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