Outdoor Heritage Act Passes

NC General Assembly RS

The original Bill allowed for hunting no closer than 300 yards from a place of worship or house on the property not belonging to the hunter. The Senate changed that to 500 yards. That’s five football fields folks; a long way. But the most egregious amendment was to limit hunting until after 12 p.m. or noon. This is obviously in deference to those who opposed the Bill for religious reason. I have asked my Representative to vote against the amendment when it comes back to the House for a vote.

Now let me get up on my soapbox. First, what happened to the Republican Party, controlling the General Assembly, that believes in individual rights and liberty? I thought that was one of their foundational values. Aren’t they always expounding their efforts to stop government interference in our lives? Well, that’s exactly what the imposed restrictions do, infringe on our individual rights. A property owner should have the right to conduct activities on their property as they see fit.

That said, religious concerns had the greatest influence on the impositions. This battle was led by Reverend Mark Creech of the Christian Action League who lobbied heavily against the Bill. Among other claims, he asserts Sunday hunting will detract from church activities. Facts are terrible things, especially when they don’t support our position. Every year Gallup, the leading survey firm in the country, conducts a religious survey. In their latest 2014 they listed the ten most religious states in the country. North Carolina was number seven. The problem for Reverend Creech is that the other top ten states ALL allow Sunday hunting, most without any restrictions. So if Sunday hunting detracts from church activities, shouldn’t North Carolina and the other seven states that don’t allow it head that list? In fact, several states that do not allow Sunday hunting are in the BOTTOM ten religious states.

I grew up in Alabama, which to the best of my knowledge always has allowed Sunday hunting with no restrictions. That said, I never went hunting on Sunday while I lived there. That was just a personal choice I made, maybe out of ignorance of the law or simply because I had other things to do. The point is, it was my choice; my freedom to do as I chose. Some form of Sunday hunting will be made available from this legislation, despite the restrictions. Hopefully over time Mark Creech and those of his ilk will see Sunday hunting is not the bugaboo they think and our opportunities will expand.

Think like me that hunting season doesn’t appear again until September? Well, think again and you may be helping out a local farmer in the process. Crow season started June 3rd and it’s a very liberal season. There are no bag limits and no restrictions other than you may only hunt on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I checked with a local game enforcement officer who told me that crows are considered a non-game migratory bird. Also, unlike other migratory birds, you may hunt crows with a rifle which many hunters do.

I plan on contacting the farmer where I hunted geese last season and get permission to hunt crows. Every time I goose hunted there the crows were so numerous they were a distraction. I haven’t hunted crows in decades but there are a lot of ways to hunt them. Crows are very wary birds which is why many people choose to shoot them with rimfire rifles while on the ground or in trees. My plan is to scout the area to see where they are flying, set out some crow decoys, turn on an electronic call and see what happens.

Because of their wariness, full camo clothing is a must. Anything out of the ordinary will cause them to shy away. If memory serves, they are pretty tough to bring down so probably 12 gauge high velocity 7 ½ or 6 shot should fit the bill out of a modified choke. Hope to share my experience with you in the near future.

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