Hyde County commissioners will hold a public hearing Monday, but have decided not to take a vote on requesting the General Assembly to implement buffer zones around permanently established waterfowl hunting locations on the Hyde County mainland. “The Hyde County Board of Commissioners have already received a great deal of public comment and while they believe attention and potential regulation is needed in regard to wild waterfowl hunting, they will not have a vote to support or promote the draft legislation as presented,” according to a statement from county public information officer Donny Shumate. The draft proposal would make it unlawful to take migratory wild waterfowl within 500 yards of another person’s permanently established hunting location except:
- On property of which they are the landholder or has the landholder’s permission to hunt
- Within the riparian water area of property of which they are the landholder or has the landholder’s permission to hunt
- Or, if they come within 500 yards of another person’s permanently established hunting location only after legally shooting at migratory wild waterfowl and while in active pursuit of a visible, crippled bird.
According to the proposed legislation, a “permanently established hunting location” is a blind, float, raft, mat or other buoyant craft or any other location, position, or device that is permanently established for hunting migratory wild waterfowl. The location could be established by the landholder of the property, the riparian landholder, if the site is on or in water and hunting rights in that water are not controlled by someone other than the riparian landholder, or a person who has written permission to establish the permanent site from a landholder who would qualify under the first two provisions. The proposal would not apply to Ocracoke Island. Dare and Currituck counties have had similar regulations in place for decades, with county game commissions regulating the location and permitting of blinds in their waterways. The public hearing will take place during the Hyde County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, March 4. “The group will hear public comment and discuss a path moving forward towards a solution that takes all user groups and stakeholder needs into account,” Shumate said. Click here to read the full proposal.