15A NCAC 10D .0102      GENERAL REGULATIONS REGARDING USE

(a)  For purposes of this Subchapter, the following definitions apply:

(1)           "Permanent Hunting Blind" means any structure that is used for hunter concealment, constructed from manmade or natural materials, and that is not disassembled and removed at the end of each day's hunt.

(2)           "Target shooting" means the discharge of a firearm for purposes other than hunting, trapping, or self-defense.

(3)           "Youth" means individuals under 18 years of age.

(b)  Trespass. Entry on game lands for purposes other than hunting, trapping, or fishing shall be as authorized by the landowner. The Wildlife Resources Commission has identified the following areas on game lands that have additional restrictions on entry or usage:

(1)           Archery Zone. On portions of game lands posted as "Archery Zones" hunting is limited to bow and arrow hunting and falconry only. On these areas, deer of either sex may be taken on all open days of any applicable deer season.

(2)           Safety Zone. On portions of game lands posted as "Safety Zones" hunting is prohibited. No person shall hunt or discharge a firearm or bow and arrow within, into, or across a posted safety zone on any game land. Falconry is exempt from this provision.

(3)           Restricted Firearms Zone. On portions of game lands posted as "Restricted Firearms Zones" the use of centerfire rifles is prohibited.

(4)           Restricted Zone. Portions of game lands posted as "Restricted Zones" are closed to all use by the general public, and entry upon such an area for any purpose is prohibited without first having obtained written approval of such entry or use from an authorized agent of the Wildlife Resources Commission. Entry shall be authorized only when such entry will not compromise the primary purpose for establishing the Restricted Zone and the person or persons requesting entry are able to demonstrate a valid need or such person is a contractor or agent of the Commission conducting official business. "Valid need" includes issues of access to private property, scientific investigations, surveys, or other access to conduct activities in the public interest.

(5)           Temporary Restricted Zone. Portions of game lands posted as "Temporary Restricted Zones" are closed to all use by the general public, and entry upon such an area for any purpose is prohibited without first having obtained written approval of such entry or use from an authorized agent of the Wildlife Resources Commission. An area of a game land shall be declared a Temporary Restricted Zone when there is a danger to the health or welfare of the public due to topographical features or activities occurring on the area.

(6)           Scouting-only Zone. On portions of the game lands posted as "Scouting-only Zones" the discharge of firearms or bow and arrow is prohibited.

(7)           Restricted Deer Hunting Zone. On portions of game lands posted as "Restricted Deer Hunting Zones" the use of dogs for taking deer is prohibited, except as allowed by permit as provided in G.S. 113-264(d).

(8)           Day Use Only Zone. On portions of game lands posted as "Day Use Only Zones" the use by the general public shall be prohibited from sunset to sunrise.

The Commission shall conduct a public input meeting in the area where the game land is located before establishing the following zones: archery, restricted firearms, restricted zone, restricted deer hunting, or day use only. After the input meeting, the public comments shall be presented at an official Commission meeting for final determination.

(c)  Littering. No person shall deposit any litter, trash, garbage, or other refuse at any place on any game land except in receptacles provided for disposal of such refuse at designated camping and target-shooting areas. No garbage dumps or sanitary landfills shall be established on any game land by any person, firm, corporation, county, or municipality, except as permitted by the landowner.

(d)  Use of weapons. No person shall discharge:

(1)           any weapon within 150 yards of any game land building or designated game land camping area, except where posted otherwise;

(2)           any weapon within 150 yards of any residence located on or adjacent to game lands, except on Butner-Falls of Neuse and Jordan game lands; and

(3)           any firearm within 150 yards of any residence located on or adjacent to Butner-Falls of Neuse and Jordan Game Lands.

No person shall hunt with or have in possession any shotgun shell containing lead or toxic shot while hunting on any posted waterfowl impoundment on any game land, except shotgun shells containing lead buckshot may be used while deer hunting. Every individual carrying a concealed handgun shall adhere to the requirements set forth in G.S. 14-415.11, even if the state issuing the concealed handgun permit is not North Carolina. On Butner-Falls of Neuse, Jordan, Kerr Scott, and Vance game lands, no person shall possess loaded firearms, ammunition, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons except as provided in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, Chapter III, Part 327.13, which is incorporated by reference, including subsequent amendments and editions, free of charge, at: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=75b0c14fb2c26906cf64a267eb69b052&mc=true&node=se36.3.327_113&rgn=div8. On Buckhorn, Chatham, Harris, Hyco, Lee, Mayo, and Sutton Lake game lands; Pee Dee River Game Land north of U.S. 74; and that portion of R. Wayne Bailey- Caswell Game Land that is located north of U.S. 158 and east of N.C. 119, no person shall possess a firearm during closed hunting seasons or closed hunting days for game birds or game animals, except under the following conditions:

(1)           the firearm is a .22 caliber pistol with a barrel not greater than seven and one-half inches in length and shooting only short, long, or long rifle ammunition carried as a side arm;

(2)           the firearm is cased or not immediately available for use;

(3)           the firearm is used by persons participating in field trials on field trial areas; or

(4)           the firearm is possessed in designated camping areas for defense of persons and property.

(e)  Game Lands License: Hunting and Trapping

(1)           Requirement. Except as provided in Subparagraph (4) of this Paragraph, any person entering upon any game land for the purpose of hunting, trapping, running dogs, or training dogs using wildlife shall have in his or her possession a game lands license in addition to the appropriate hunting or trapping license, or a license that conveys the game land use privilege.

(2)           For commission-sanctioned field trials, active participants (as defined in 15A NCAC 10B .0114) in a field trial using wildlife shall possess a game lands license in addition to the appropriate North Carolina hunting license, or a license that conveys the game land use privilege, except non-residents may substitute hunting licenses from their state(s) of residence.

(3)           For any other field trial using wildlife occurring on game lands, judges and active participants shall possess a game lands license in addition to the appropriate North Carolina hunting license, or a license that conveys the game land use privilege.

(4)           Exceptions:

(A)          a person under 16 years of age may hunt on game lands on the license of his parent or legal guardian;

(B)          on the game lands described in Rule .0103(e)(1) of this Section, the game lands license is required only for hunting doves; all other activities are subject to the control of the landowners.

(f)  Field Trials and Training Dogs. Any individual or organization sponsoring a field trial on the Sandhills Field Trial area or the Laurinburg Fox Trial facility, shall file with the Commission an application to use the area and facility accompanied by the facility use fee computed at the rate of two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each scheduled day of the trial. The total facility use fee shall cover the period from 12:00 noon of the day preceding the first scheduled day of the trial to 10:00 a.m. of the day following the last scheduled day of the trial. The facility use fee shall be paid for all intermediate days on which for any reason trials are not run but the building or facilities are used or occupied. A fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per day shall be charged to sporting, educational, or scouting groups for scheduled events utilizing the club house only. No person or group of persons or any other entity shall enter or use in any manner any of the physical facilities located on the Sandhills Field Trial area or the Laurinburg Fox Trial facility without first having obtained written approval of such entry or use from an authorized agent of the Wildlife Resources Commission, and no such entry or use of any such facility shall exceed the scope of or continue beyond the approved use. The Sandhills Field Trial facilities shall be used only for field trials scheduled with the approval of the Wildlife Resources Commission. No more than 16 days of field trials may be scheduled for occurrence on the Sandhills facilities during any calendar month, and no more than four days may be scheduled during any calendar week; provided, that a field trial requiring more than four days may be scheduled during one week upon reduction of the maximum number of days allowable during some other week so that the monthly maximum of 16 days is not exceeded. Before October 1 of each year, the North Carolina Field Trial Association or other organization desiring use of the Sandhills facilities between October 22 and November 18 and between December 3 and March 31 shall submit its proposed schedule of such use to the Wildlife Resources Commission for its consideration and approval. The use of the Sandhills Field Trial facilities at any time by individuals for training dogs is prohibited; elsewhere on the Sandhills Game Lands dogs may be trained only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from October 1 through April 1. Dogs may not be trained or permitted to run unleashed from April 1 through August 15 on any game land located west of I-95, except when participating in field trials sanctioned by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Dogs may not be trained or permitted to run unleashed from March 15 through June 15 on any game land located east of I-95, except when participating in field trials sanctioned by the Wildlife Resources Commission. Additionally, on game lands located west of I-95 where special hunts are scheduled for sportsmen participating in the Disabled Sportsman Program, dogs may not be trained or allowed to run unleashed during legal big game hunting hours on the dates of the special hunts. A field trial shall be authorized when such field trial does not conflict with other planned activities on the Game Land or field trial facilities, and the applying organization can demonstrate their experience and expertise in conducting genuine field trial activities. Entry to physical facilities, other than by field trial organizations under permit, shall be granted when they do not conflict with other planned activities previously approved by the Commission and they do not conflict with the mission of the agency.

(g)  Trapping. Subject to the restrictions contained in 15A NCAC 10B .0110, .0302, and .0303, trapping of furbearing animals is permitted on game lands during the applicable open seasons, except that trapping is prohibited:

(1)           on the field trial course of the Sandhills Game Land;

(2)           in posted "safety zones" located on any game land;

(3)           by the use of bait on the National Forest Lands bounded by the Blue Ridge Parkway on the south, US 276 on the north and east, and NC 215 on the west;

(4)           on the John's River Waterfowl Refuge in Burke County; and

(5)           on the DuPont State Forest Game Lands.

On those areas of state-owned land known collectively as the Roanoke River Wetlands, controlled trapping is allowed under a permit system.

(h)  Vehicular Traffic. No person shall drive a motorized vehicle on any game land except on those roads constructed, maintained, and opened for vehicular travel and those trails posted for vehicular travel, unless such person:

(1)           is driving in the vehicle gallery of a scheduled bird dog field trial held on the Sandhills Game Land; or

(2)           is a disabled sportsman as defined in Paragraph (k) of this Rule or holds a Disabled Access Program Permit as described in Paragraph (m) of this Rule and is abiding by the rules described in Paragraph (m).

(i)  Camping.

(1)           No person shall camp on any game land except on an area designated by the landowner for camping.

(2)           On game lands owned by the State of North Carolina, where the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is the primary custodian, the maximum period of consecutive overnight camping at any designated camping area is 14 days within any 30-day period from May 1 through August 31. After 14 consecutive days of camping, all personal belongings shall be removed from the game land.

(j)  Swimming. Swimming is prohibited in the lakes located on the Sandhills Game Land.

(k)  Disabled Sportsman Program. In order to qualify for permit hunts for disabled sportsmen offered by the Commission and use of designated blinds during those hunts, an individual shall possess a Disabled Veteran Sportsman license, a Totally Disabled Sportsman license, or a disabled sportsman hunt certification issued by the Commission. In order to qualify for the certification, the applicant shall provide medical certification of one or more of the following disabilities:

(1)           missing 50 percent or more of one or more limbs, whether by amputation or natural causes;

(2)           paralysis of one or more limbs;

(3)           dysfunction of one or more limbs rendering the person unable to perform the task of grasping and lifting with the hands and arms or unable to walk without mechanical assistance, other than a cane;

(4)           disease, injury, or defect confining the person to a wheelchair, walker, or crutches; or

(5)           deafness.

On game lands where the privileges described in Paragraph (m) of this Rule apply, participants in the program may operate electric wheel chairs, all terrain vehicles, or other passenger vehicles:

(1)           on ungated or open-gated roads normally closed to vehicular traffic; and

(2)           on any Commission-maintained road open for vehicular travel and those trails posted for vehicular travel.

Each program participant may be accompanied by one companion provided such companion has in his possession the companion card issued by the Commission. Hunters who qualify under the Disabled Sportsman Program and their companions may access special hunting blinds for people with disabilities during regularly scheduled, non-permit hunting days on a first come basis, except for those blinds located on the Restricted Area of Caswell Game Land.

(l)  Release of Animals and Fish. It is unlawful to release pen-raised animals or birds, wild animals or birds, domesticated animals, except hunting dogs and raptors where otherwise permitted for hunting or training purposes, or feral animals, or hatchery-raised fish on game lands without prior written authorization. It is unlawful to move wild fish from one stream to another on game lands without prior written authorization. Written authorization shall be given when release of such animals is determined by a Wildlife Resources Commission biologist not to be harmful to native wildlife in the area and such releases are in the public interest or advance the programs and goals of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(m)  Non-Highway Licensed Vehicles. It is unlawful to operate motorized land vehicles not licensed for highway use on Game Lands except for designated areas on National Forests. Disabled persons as defined in Paragraph (k) of this Rule and people who have obtained a Disabled Access Program permit are exempt from the previous sentence but shall comply with the terms of their permit. Furthermore, disabled persons, as defined under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 126) may use wheelchairs or other mobility devices designed for indoor pedestrian use on any area where foot travel is allowed.

(n)  Disabled Access Program. Permits issued under this program shall be based upon medical evidence submitted by the person verifying that a handicap exists that limits physical mobility to the extent that normal utilization of the game lands is not possible without vehicular assistance. Persons meeting this requirement may operate electric wheel chairs, all terrain vehicles, and other passenger vehicles on any Commission-maintained road open for vehicular travel and those trails posted for vehicular travel and ungated or open-gated roads otherwise closed to vehicular traffic on game lands owned by the Wildlife Resources Commission and on game lands whose owners have agreed to such use. Those game lands, or parts thereof, where this Paragraph applies are designated in the game land rules and map book. This Paragraph does not permit vehicular access on fields, openings, roads, paths, or trails planted for wildlife food or cover. One companion, who is identified by a companion card issued to each qualified disabled person, may accompany a disabled person to provide assistance, provided the companion is at all times in visual or verbal contact with the disabled person. The companion may participate in all lawful activities while assisting a disabled person, provided license requirements are met. Any vehicle used by a qualified disabled person for access to game lands under this provision shall display the vehicular access permit issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission in the passenger area of the vehicle where it can easily be seen by Commission staff outside the vehicle. It is unlawful for anyone other than disabled persons as defined in Paragraph (k) of this Rule and those holding a Disabled Access Permit to hunt, during waterfowl season, within 100 yards of a waterfowl blind designated by the Wildlife Resources Commission as a Disabled Sportsman's hunting blind.

(o)  Public nudity. Public nudity, including nude sunbathing, is prohibited on any Game Land, including land or water. For the purposes of this Section, "public nudity" means a person's intentional failure to cover with a fully opaque covering the person's genitals, pubic area, anal area, or female breasts below a point from the top of the areola while in a public place.

(p)  Shooting Ranges. On public shooting ranges managed by the Commission, no person shall use designated shooting ranges for any purpose other than for firearm or bow and arrow marksmanship, development of shooting skills, or for other safe uses of firearms and archery equipment. All other uses, including camping, building fires, operating concessions or other activities not directly involved with recreational or competitive shooting are prohibited, except for activities that have been approved by the Commission and for which a permit has been issued may be conducted, provided that the permit authorizing such activity is available for inspection by wildlife enforcement officers at the time the activity is taking place. No person, when using any shooting range, shall deposit any debris or refuse on the grounds of the range. This includes any items used as targets, except that clay targets broken on the range, by the shooter, may be left on the grounds where they fall. No person shall shoot any items made of glass on the grounds of the range. No person may leave any vehicle or other obstruction in such a location or position that it will prevent, impede, or inconvenience the use by other persons of any shooting range. No person shall leave parked any vehicle or other object at any place on the shooting range other than such a place or zone as is designated as an authorized parking zone and posted or marked as such. No person shall handle any firearms or bow and arrow on a shooting range in a careless or reckless manner. No person shall intentionally shoot into any target holder, post, or other permanent fixture or structure while using a shooting range. No person shall shoot a firearm in a manner that would cause any rifled or smoothbore projectiles to travel off of the range, except that shotgun shot, size No. 4 or smaller may be allowed to travel from the range if it presents no risk of harm or injury to any person(s). Persons using a shooting range shall obey posted range safety rules and those persons who violate range safety rules or create a public safety hazard shall leave the shooting range if directed to by law enforcement officers or to leave by Commission employees. No person shall handle any firearms on a shooting range while under the influence of an impairing substance. The consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages on a shooting range is prohibited. Open days and hours of operation shall be designated on signs and at least one such sign shall be posted at the entrance to each shooting range. No person, when using any shooting range, shall do any act that is prohibited or neglect to do any act that is required by signs or markings placed on such area under authority of this Rule for the purpose of regulating the use of the area.

(q)  Limited-access Roads. During the months of June, July, and August, roads posted as "Limited-access Roads" are open to motorized vehicles from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. only. These roads shall be posted with the opening and closing times.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 113-129; 113-134; 113-264; 113-270.3; 113-291.2; 113-291.5; 113-305; 113-306; 143-318.10;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. July 1, 1993; April 1, 1992;

Temporary Amendment Eff. October 11, 1993;

Amended Eff. July 1, 1998; July 1, 1996; July 1, 1995; July 1, 1994;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. July 1, 2000;

Temporary Amendment Eff. August 31, 2001;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2002;

Amended Eff. June 1, 2004; (this amendment replaces the amendment approved by RRC on July 17, 2003);

Amended Eff. January 1, 2013; January 1, 2012; June 1, 2011; August 1, 2010; May 1, 2009; May 1, 2008; May 1, 2007; May 1, 2006; November 1, 2005;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 1, 2014;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2017; August 1, 2016; May 1, 2015; August 1, 2014.