Session Law

SESSION LAWS OF 1957, CHAPTER 1436, AS AMENDED, ESTABLISHING THE GAME COMMISSION OF CURRITUCK COUNTY.

Section 1.

The hunting, shooting, killing, or trapping of any wild fowl consisting of geese, ducks, brant, or any other wild fowl from shore, marsh, blind, or floating device on or adjacent to the public waters of Currituck County shall be governed and regulated by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission and a duly constituted appointed Game Commission of Currituck County, as hereinafter set forth, subject to the following regulations:

Section 2.

Hunting licenses for shooting migratory wild fowl on the waters covered by this Act shall conform to the licenses set out or required by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission or as required by the State-Wide Game Law.

Section 3.

Repealed by the 1981 Assembly.

Section 4.

a) All licenses for the shooting, hunting, killing, or trapping of migratory wild fowl in the Currituck Sound or its tributaries shall be sold by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission as provided under the State Game Laws and the proceeds received from the sale of all such licenses shall be the property of the State of North Carolina.

B) Licenses for bush blinds, float blinds, and point blinds shall be solely issued by the Clerk to the Currituck County Game Commission. The Currituck County Game Commission shall elect and appoint a suitable person, from persons qualifying by education and experience, to act as Clerk to the Currituck County Game Commission.

C) The Clerk shall be required to keep a complete and permanent record of all licenses issued by the Game Commission in the office of the Game Commission, and this record shall be open to inspection upon reasonable notice.

D) To help defray the cost of enforcement of the provisions of this Act, the Clerk to the Game Commission shall remit to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for deposit in the Wildlife Resources Fund, out of monies received by him from the sale of hunting blind licenses, the following amounts: eleven dollars ($11.00) of the fee for a license for a point blind, four dollars ($4.00) of the fee for a license for a bush blind, and nine dollars ($9.00) of the fee for a license for a float blind.

Section 5.

A Game Commission of Currituck County is hereby created which the Commission shall consist of seven members, each of whom shall be thoroughly acquainted with migratory waterfowl shooting both ashore and afloat. The Game Commission shall be selected and appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of Currituck County, but no member of the Game Commission shall be removed except upon the unanimous vote of all members of the Board of Commissioners of Currituck County. One member shall be chosen from each of the five county commissioner residency districts, and two members shall be appointed to serve at large. In the event of a vacancy, successors to the members of the Commission shall be similarly appointed.

The members of said Game Commission shall be appointed by the Board of County Commissioners on the first Monday in July, 1957 and thereafter on the first Monday of June of each year as terms expire, and shall hold their offices for terms of two years, or until their successors are appointed and qualified, provided the terms of those appointed on the first Monday of July, 1957, shall expire on the first Monday June, 1959, and provided that present members serving on The date of ratification shall finish their term.

The said Game Commission acting with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission shall have charge of the enforcement of this and all migratory wild fowl game laws in Currituck County, and said Game Commission acting with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission shall have the power and authority to prescribe rules and regulations for the enforcement of such game laws and the protection of wild fowl life in said County, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act. It is expressly provided that said Game Commission may establish sanctuaries or rest areas in which no wild fowl may be shot, hunted or disturbed.

Section 6.

The said Game Commission shall have control over the issuance of licenses for stationary bush blinds, floating bush blinds, and point blinds, not inconsistent with the rules and regulations as hereinafter set forth, and shall hear complaints and petitions from gunners relative to location of blinds, and other matters, and shall make adjustment of such matters, provided that any gunner not satisfied with the ruling of the Game Commission may file an appeal with the District Court within (TEN) 10 days. The procedure governing the appeal shall substantially follow the provisions of Section 29 (c).

Section 7.

Repealed by the 1981 Assembly.

Section 8.

To obtain a license for either a stationary bush blind or a floating bush blind, the applicant shall apply in writing to the Clerk of the Game Commission enclosing the following:

(1) Twenty-five dollars ($25.00) if the applicant is a resident of North Carolina;

or

(2) Two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) if the applicant is not a resident of North Carolina

In addition to the nonrefundable application fee, each application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable processing fee of ten dollars ($10.00). Applicants shall submit proof of North Carolina residency along with each application.

Applicants who are not residents of North Carolina but who were the holders of licensed blinds for the 1996-97 waterfowl season shall be charged as North Carolina residents for all subsequent renewals of that application. However, this exemption terminates if the blind license is not renewed during any subsequent annual renewal period and is not transferable to any different blind location.

Float blinds when licensed shall bear the license number or tag, and the same shall be displayed in a prominent or conspicuous place upon the blind.

Section 9.

Repealed by the 1981 Assembly.

Section 10.

Those owning property in Currituck County bought and used for the shooting of migratory wild fowl who desire to have any well established shooting point or location protected by a license as such, shall make application according to the following rules and regulations, and as hereinafter provided, provided further that applications filed later than August 1 shall be given consideration at subsequent meetings of the Game Commission.

(a) The application shall accurately describe the location and a map be furnished to the Game Commission upon request.

(b) Application must be filed on or before August 1 of each year to ensure timely consideration. To obtain a license for a point blind, the applicant shall apply in writing to the Clerk of the Game Commission enclosing the twenty-five dollars ($25.00) fee. In addition to the application fee, each application shall be accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee of ten dollars ($10.00).

(c) The license tag to be supplied with the license, must, during the shooting season, be displayed on the blind erected on such licensed shooting point, which blind must be maintained and used with reasonable frequency, at least four times each season.

(d) If it is desired to develop a new shooting location the Game Commission, on application, may license any location designated, but not if it is within five hundred (500) yards of a location used by floating devices or within five hundred (500) yards of a bush blind or another license point.

Section 11.

It shall be prima facie evidence when anyone is found in a boat, blind, or floating device, or on shore or marsh with decoys or geese or any other contrivance which is used in hunting wild fowl that he is there for the purpose of hunting.

Section 12.

It shall be unlawful for a licensed guide or other resident of North Carolina or any other person to accompany or aid in hunting in any of the methods described in this Act, any person who has failed to provide himself or herself with the proper license.

Section 13.

No type of floating device will be used in the hunting of wild fowl in Currituck Sound except those authorized by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the Currituck County Game Commission.

Section 14.

a) It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot waterfowl on the waters of Currituck Sound, from any point, bush blind, boat or other floating device, unless he is lawfully hunting and has a stand of artificial decoys tied out over which he is shooting.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to use a licensed or temporary blind for hunting purposes unless he shall have written permission from the licensee of the blind or be hunting in the presence of the licensee.

(c) An owner of real estate who has a licensed point blind on his real estate, or the guests of such an owner, may hunt at one unlicensed temporary location per licensed blind on the real estate, provided that the licensed location is not being hunted at the same time and that the temporary location is not within 500 yards of a licensed location belonging to someone other than the owner of the real estate.

Section 15.

The penalties for a violation of this Act shall be as follows:

The Game Commission may prosecute and revoke the hunting blind license of anyone who has in its judgment violated any part of this Act, or any of such rules and regulations as it may establish, but prior to such revocation, it shall notify the one charged with the violation to appear before the Game Commission on a given day at a given hour. The Game Commission may revoke the hunting blind license of any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act regulating hunting, or who, while hunting, shall go upon the marshes or lands of any person, firm, or corporation without the permission of the owners.

Any violation of this Act is hereby made a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00), or by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days, at the discretion of the court, and each violation thereof shall constitute a separate offense.

Section 16.

The Currituck County Game Commission with the approval of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission shall have the authority to restrict or prohibit the use of air boats on Currituck Sound from September 1 to April 1 of each year. All boats powered with gasoline, oil or similarly operated engines shall use efficient mufflers in Currituck County except when otherwise authorized by the Federal Government.

Section 17.

Repealed by the 1989 Assembly.

Section 18.

The Game Commission of Currituck County is empowered to pay the necessary fees of attorneys, surveyors, and accountants; the costs of printing license forms for hunting blind licenses to be furnished to the Clerk of the Game Commission; and other necessary expenses of carrying out the duties imposed by this Act. Each member shall be paid a per diem of ten dollars ($10.00) and travel expenses of the allowable business standard mileage rate as set by the Internal Revenue Service while engaged in official business of the Game Commission. The Chairman of the Game Commission shall be paid one thousand five hunderd dollars ($1,500.00) per year in addition to per diem and travel for the fulfillment of his duties as Chairman, in such installments as the Commission may direct. Each Game Commission member shall be paid one thousand dollars ($1000.00) per year in addition to per diem and travel in such installments as the Game Commission may direct. The Clerk to the Game Commission shall receive an annual salary of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for the performance of his duties for the Game Commission in addition to his fees for issuing licenses.

In addition, the Game Commission may disburse excess funds generated from fees to an organization established as a nonprofit corporation under North Carolina law for the purpose of conservation, habitat enhancement and waterfowl protection in Currituck County. The board of directors of this corporation shall be appointed by the Currituck County Board of Commissioners and shall include a representative designated by the Wildlife Resources Commission as a non-voting member.

Prior to the beginning of the Game Commission’s fiscal year, it shall file a copy of its budget for that year with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Within (THIRTY) 30 days following receipt of the audit report made after the close of a fiscal year, the Game Commission shall file a copy of the audit report with the Wildlife Commission.

Section 19.

The Game Commission of Currituck County is hereby authorized to close down vacant blinds in its discretion.

Section 20.

Every blind of any kind shall be located not less than five hundred (500) Yards from any blind of any kind.

No float blinds shall be tied within 300 yards of any residence.

This section shall not apply to blinds closer together than five hundred (500) yards on the effective date of this Act, but shall be applicable to any such blinds as, and when, one of said blinds becomes vacant.

Section 21.

Any person having a licensed blind is hereby prohibited from renting it by the year or otherwise. The right of a licensee to use a blind is personal to him, and he shall not permit any other person to use his blind except members of his family, friends, or licensed guides. A licensee shall not accept any money or other thing of value as consideration for the use of his blind, and he shall file a written report each week as to who has been using his blind on request of the Currituck County Game Commission.

The Game Commission of Currituck County is hereby empowered to make reasonable rules and regulations to prevent the renting of blinds. The Commission is authorized to revoke the license of any licensee found to have rented his blind.

Section 22.

Repealed by the 1989 Assembly.

Section 23.

When the Game Commission finds that an applicant for a blind license is a consistent violator of the game laws of Currituck County, as shown by convictions for such violations, it shall be empowered in its discretion to refuse to issue such applicant a license for any type of blind.

Section 24.

(a) Unless modified by the Game Commission pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, in all areas of Currituck County lying east and north of the line described in subsection (c) of this section, the starting time for waterfowl hunting each day, and the quitting time for waterfowl hunting each day prior to November 1 and after January 31 of the hunting season, shall be as set by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, or as required by the statewide game law. The quitting time for waterfowl hunting each day from November 1 through January 31 of the hunting season shall be 4:20 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

(b) Unless modified by the Game Commission pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, in all areas of Currituck County lying west of the line described in subsection (c) of this section, the starting time for waterfowl hunting each day shall be as set by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, or as required by statewide game law.

(c) The line of demarcation between the waterfowl hunting regions referred to in subsections (a) and (b) of this section is as follows:

Beginning at a point located on the boundary line between the State of North Carolina and the Commonwealth of Virginia and which point marks the center of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) as established by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and thence following the center of the AICW channel in a southerly direction to a point which marks the intersection with the center of the ferry channel for the Currituck-Knotts Island Ferry; thence running in a southeasterly direction to the northeastern point of Churches Island at a point where the right of way of NCSR 1142 (the road from Coinjock to Churches Island) would terminate if extended in a northerly direction to the high water mark of the sound; thence following the centerline of NCSR 1142 and the northerly extension thereof in a southerly and westerly direction through Churches Island and continuing to a point where the right of way intersects the center of U.S. Highway 158 near the bridge crossing the AICW at Coinjock; thence following the centerline of U.S. Highway 158 in a southerly direction to the center of the Currituck Sound and the line marking the boundary between Dare County and Currituck County.

(d) Subject to the approval of the Currituck County Board of Commissioners, the Game Commission may modify the times for waterfowl hunting set forth in this section upon specific findings, after duly advertised public hearing, that the modifications will benefit the waterfowl flyway and habitat within Currituck County and will promote safety and conservation of resources. However, the Game Commission may not modify the times for waterfowl hunting to allow hunting during times when hunting is otherwise prohibited by the Wildlife Resources Commission in other areas of the State.

Section 25.

The Game Commission of Currituck County is hereby empowered to institute a survey of the location of all blinds in Currituck County, and to negotiate and purchase land for check-points, base lines, and concrete markers to accurately locate said blinds, and provide for same in its budget.

Section 26.

The Clerk to the Game Commission shall keep a plat book, and the surveyor making a survey for the Game Commission is to furnish a plat for every blind, which the secretary shall record. Such survey shall furnish base lines and check-points on each blind and the Clerk to the Game Commission shall keep a record on such hearings.

Section 27.

The number of stationary blinds and float blinds licensed shall be within the discretion of the Game Commission of Currituck County.

Section 28.

No power boat carrying gunners or skiffs shall be tied or anchored within five hundred (500) yards of a blind of any kind.

Section 29.

No blind shall be constructed or hunted from by any person unless such blind shall have been duly licensed. The procedure for issuance of a blind license shall be as follows:

(a) All applications for blind licenses shall be made in writing and flied with the Clerk to the Game Commission between July 15 and August 1 of each year. Each application shall describe the exact proposed location of the blind by course and distance from a known natural monument susceptible of definite and exact location; the type of blind license applied for; and the name of the applicant, his age, address, and the purpose for which he intends to use the blind (for example, for personal use or as a guide). Each application shall also contain an oath by the applicant that the blind will be used personally by the applicant and his guests for hunting and will not be assigned or rented for a consideration unless the applicant be the guide accompanying such sportsmen.

(b) All applications that have been filed during the period above shall receive consideration by the Game Commission of Currituck County at a meeting to be held at 1:00 p.m. at the Currituck County Courthouse on the Thursday following the second Wednesday in August, at which time all applications for licenses submitted shall be passed upon and granted or refused. Any applicant whose application for a license is denied shall be notified immediately by mail of the rejection of the application. Whether this notice is mailed or received, however, it is the responsibility of each applicant to determine whether his application for a blind license has been approved or rejected and, if desired, to make a timely demand for a hearing under subsection (c) upon rejection of the application.

(c) Any applicant who has been refused a hunting blind license, or any person objecting to the issuance of a license to another, shall by the fourth Wednesday in August following action on the license application notify in writing the Clerk to the Game Commission that he demands a public hearing before the Game Commission on the question of the issuance of the license, stating in detail his grounds for objection to denial or granting of the license. The Game Commission shall conduct a public hearing on all such demands for the purpose of finding facts, hearing the arguments and contentions of the parties, and judicially passing upon the question on the first Wednesday in September of each year. The hearing shall be held at the Currituck County Courthouse, and shall convene at 7:00 p.m. If a person objecting to the issuance of a license to another has demanded a hearing the Clerk to the Game Commission shall mail by the Thursday following the fourth Wednesday in August a notice of the hearing to the person whose license application was granted. Mailing of the notice given in the license application is sufficient notice of the hearing.

(d) Within one week following the hearing provided by subsection (c), the Clerk to the Game Commission shall file with the Clerk of Superior Court of Currituck County a listing of all blind licenses issued without contest, all licenses issued following a hearing on the matter, all license applications denied without contest, and all license applications denied following the hearing. The listing for each action taken only after a contest in the hearing shall briefly set out the Game Commission’s findings of fact and the basis for the action taken on the license application. In addition, within one week following the hearing, the Clerk to the Game Commission shall mail a notice of the decision of the Game Commission to:

(1) Each party who appeared at the hearing on the issue at question; and

(2) Each person who, according to the records of the Game Commission, will be directly affected by the decision of the Game Commission at the hearing. Whether this notice is mailed or received, however, it is the responsibility of each party to the hearing to determine the decision of the Game Commission affecting him.

(e) Any party to the hearing provided by subsection (c) who is aggrieved by the decision of the Game Commission may appeal the decision to the District Court Division of the General Court of Justice sitting in Currituck County, where the matter shall be heard de novo by a district court judge sitting without a jury. The aggrieved party shall file written notice of his appeal with the office of the Clerk of Superior Court of Currituck County explicitly stating the grounds for his objections to the decision of the Game Commission and the relief sought. The aggrieved party shall style his notice of appeal in a manner to identify the issue to be litigated, such as “In the Matter of a License for a Stationary Bush Blind Located at (give location).” Filing notice of appeal shall suspend the decision taken by the Game Commission pending resolution of the question by the district court, except that the right to appeal is barred by a failure:

(1) To file the notice of appeal with the Clerk of Superior Court by the third Wednesday in September; or

(2) To perfect the appeal in accordance with subdivision (e1) within 10 days after filing the notice of appeal.

(e1) After filing notice of appeal, the aggrieved party shall perfect the appeal by paying the costs of the appeal to the Clerk of Superior Court of Currituck County and by serving a copy of the notice of appeal upon the Clerk to the Game Commission and upon each person who is shown by the records of the Game Commission to have been entitled to be mailed a notice of the decision under the terms of subsection (d). The Clerk to the Game Commission shall upon request furnish the appealing party the names and addresses of the persons entitled to the notice. Service shall be in accordance with G.S. 1A-1, Rule 24.

(e2) Any person served with the notice of appeal under subsection (e1) may become a party in the appeal proceeding before the district court judge by notifying the Clerk of Superior Court of Currituck County within seven days after service of the notice of appeal upon him. Any other person aggrieved by the decision of the Game Commission may petition to become a party by filing a motion to intervene as provided in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 24.

(e3) The responsible judicial official in the First Judicial District shall schedule the hearing upon an appeal as expeditiously as possible after the appeal is perfected, but it may not be scheduled until the fourth Wednesday in September or, if later, seven days after service of the notice of appeal upon the Clerk to the Game Commission and all other persons required to be served with notice of appeal under subsection (el). If any aggrieved party fails to appear at any scheduled appeal proceeding, the party’s appeal shall be dismissed.

(e4) Upon the appeal, the Game Commission shall be a party and shall be represented by one or more of the members of the Game Commission. In addition, the Clerk to the Game Commission and its attorney, surveyor, and others who have acted for or on behalf of the Game Commission may testify to facts in issue upon the appeal of which they have knowledge and to the Game Commission’s findings and criteria that apply to the matter in issue. The Game Commission shall furnish the court with relevant records and exhibits bearing upon the matter in issue and the decision it made.

(e5) In determining whether to grant or deny a blind license to any applicant, to modify the terms of a license, or otherwise to decide any matter in issue upon appeal, the district court judge shall follow the criteria:

(1) In this Act; and,

(2) Established by regulations and guidelines of the Game Commission, to the extent that they are reasonable and in conformity with the policies of this Act.

After the district court judge’s decision, he may implement his ruling with appropriate orders to the Game Commission concerning issuance of the blind license, rejection or modification of the application, and any other matters in issue upon the appeal.

(f) The Clerk to the Game Commission shall begin issuance of blind licenses as soon as feasible for those licenses as to which there is no contest; and, as to each license contested under subsection (c) or by further appeal to the district court, as soon as feasible after the proceedings with respect to each license have concluded. The license issued shall carry a number designation, name, age, and address of the licensee; and a description of the location of the blind by course and distance as set out in the approved application.

Section 30.

The following standards shall govern the selection of approved applications and the locations for which licenses are issued:

(a) No license for a hunting device of any kind, including, but not limited to, stationary stuck or bush blinds and point blinds, shall be granted for any location within five hundred (500) yards of any other stationary stuck or bush blind or licensed point.

(b) No person shall be granted a license for more than a total of two blinds of any and all types except property owners who may have licensed points on their own property without limit so long as same are not within five hundred (500) yards of any other licensed point or stationary bush or stuck blinds.

(c) Licenses shall be issued only to persons who are thoroughly familiar with the waters of Currituck Sound, who are capable boatmen, of good moral character, licensed hunters and aged at least eighteen (18). In determining good moral character such things as past record of conviction for violation of the game laws of the State of North Carolina, or the United States, or the violation of valid rules and regulations of the Game Commission of Currituck County or of the Wildlife Resources Commission shall be considered along with other factors determinative of good moral character.

(d) As between two or more applicants for licenses for locations within five hundred (500) yards, who equally meet all other qualifications one of whom had a license for such location for the 1956-57 hunting season, such prior license shall be granted priority.

(e) No license shall be assigned or conveyed by the licensee thereof; provided, however, if the licensee shall die during the term of the license, his heirs at law or devisees shall be permitted to operate under said license for the then current hunting season, and no longer, provided that the qualifications above specified are met by such successor.

Section 31.

No person shall cause to be erected or erect a blind unless same has been duly licensed as herein provided.

Section 32.

No person shall shoot or permit another to shoot from a blind which has not been licensed according to the terms hereof. All licensed blinds shall carry the number of said license on the inside thereof, plainly visible to anyone visiting the blind.

Section 33.

No person shall hunt from a licensed blind unless such person shall be the guest of and shall have the permission of the licensee thereof or is in company with such licensee as guide.

Section 34.

Repealed by the 1989 Assembly.

Section 35.

No float blinds shall be anchored overnight except at a licensed stationary bush or stuck blind or licensed point issued to the licensee of said float blind. All other float blinds must be returned to the landing of the licensee each night.

Section 36.

Any blind or hunting device heretofore erected and not licensed for a given year shall be immediately demolished by the owner or past owner thereof; provided, however, if same is not demolished by November 15, 1957, it shall be the duty of the game wardens for Currituck County to enter upon same and cause same to be demolished.

Section 37.

If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of the Act are declared to be severable.

Section 38.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission shall make such other rules and regulations relative to hunting wild fowl in Currituck Sound as it may deem necessary and proper, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.

Section 39.

All laws and clauses of laws in conflict with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.

Section 40.

This Act shall be in full force and effect from and after its ratification.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified, this 12th day of June, 1957.

These sections became effective July 1, 1981, and are contained in:

Session Laws 1957, Chapter 1436, as amended

Session Laws 1971, Chapter 1178

Session Laws 1973, Chapter 747

Session Laws 1975, Chapter 398

Session Laws 1977, Chapter 190

Session Laws 1981, Chapter 622

Session Laws 1983, Chapter 764

Session Laws 1989, Chapter 808

Further modifications became effective June 10, 1997, and are contained in:

Session Laws 1997, Chapter

Further modifications became effective July 1, 2009 as follows

Session Laws 2009, Chapter 622, Section 5, Section 18, Section 20

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**Note:

This version is dated September 2, 1997 and contains the correction made by the Technical Correction Bill adopted at the conclusion of the 1997 session.

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