A pair of bills changing the hunting rules in Jackson County passed in the N.C. Senate this week and were ratified by the House, moving on to the governor’s desk for signature. House Bill 2121 makes it unlawful to kill wild animals or birds using a firearem or to discharge a firearm from, on or across a state-maintained road or highway. The second bill (HB 2122) makes it unlawful to intentionally shine a light on deer or in search of deer at night. The act does not prohibit the “necessary shining of lights” by hunters searching for their dogs or by landholders on their lands, and does not prohibit lawful hunting of raccoon or opossum during open weason with artificial lights. Both bills were sponsored by Rep. Phil Haire (representing Jackson, Haywood, Macon and Swain counties).
The firearm hunting prohibition does not apply to the owner or lessee of land adjoining a state road. Violation of either act will be considered a misdemeanor enforceable by the Wildlife Resources Commission or by sheriffs, deputies or officers of the peace with jurisdiction. If signed by the governor, the effective date for both bills is Oct. 1.
— Nelda Holder, associate editor