Board seeks ban on roadside huntingPublished 10:36pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 Monday night to ask the N.C. General Assembly to enact legislation banning roadside hunting in the county.
Copies of the resolution asking the Legislature for the ban will be sent to the state Sen. Bill Cook and state Reps. Paul Tine and Michael Speciale, who represent all or parts of the county in the Legislature. Commissioner Gary Brinn voted against the resolution.
The board’s decision comes after months of debate and public hearings on the issue. During a hearing on the matter on Sept. 10, 2010, some speakers asked for a ban on roadside hunting, while others asked that such hunting be allowed to continue.
The board seeks legislation that makes it illegal for someone to “hunt, take or kill any wild animal or game bird” with a firearm or bow and arrow from, one or across the right of way of a public road in the county.
Some commissioners cited safety reasons as a factor in their decision to support the resolution.
“I’ve been a hunter all my life. I’ve hunted on the shoulder of the road. I feel deeply about this. I’ve talked with several hunting groups. They’re taking all the precautions they can to make sure it’s done safely and take the danger factor out of someone being shot. I know that’s not a good argument, but it’s one they would argue with,” Brinn said.
Commissioner Stan Deatherage, who leases land to hunt clubs, said the board’s decision reflects “changes in life.”
“This is not a big change. It’s a minor change. It’s a change that, hopefully, will ensure that Beaufort County will be more in compliance with the other counties within the state and there will be a sense of safety for the neighbors, and a sense of better sportsmanship. I think I am going to have to vote for it while I probably wouldn’t have voted for it 10 years ago. Things have changed in Beaufort County,” Deatherage said.
Commissioner Al Klemm supports seeking the ban,
“After the public hearing, I received a bunch of calls in regard to personal safety — people on their own personal property,” he said. “One guy said, ‘I heard a shotgun and I looked over. Somebody shot a hole in my house while they were hunting deer.’”
Klemm noted that roadside hunting in Hyde County was banned after someone was killed while someone else was hunting from the roadside.
“With the way the density of population and the houses have changed in Beaufort County, I believe we have a safety issue. We’re the only county left with no restrictions on roadside hunting. … I believe it’s time we do something. I support this,” Klemm said.
For additional coverage of the board’s meeting, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.