Article 21A.

Regulating Hunting and Fishing on the Registered Property of Another.

§ 113-281.  Definitions.

In addition to the definitions in Article 12 of this Chapter, the following definitions apply in this Article:

(1)        Entry Permit. - The permit described in G.S. 113-283.

(2)        Posted Property. - Registered property that is posted in substantial compliance with G.S. 113-282(d).

(3)        Registered Property. - Property that has been accepted for registration by the Wildlife Resources Commission as provided in G.S. 113-282, and has not been deleted from registration.

(4)        Registrant. - A current applicant of record for a tract of registered property. (1981, c. 854, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-282.  Registration and posting of property.

(a)        A person who controls the hunting, fishing, or hunting and fishing rights to a tract of property and wishes to register it under this Article must apply to the Wildlife Resources Commission in  accordance with this section.

(b)        The registration application must contain:

(1)        A statement under oath by the applicant that he has the right to control hunting or fishing, or both, on the tract of property to be registered. If the applicant is not a landholder, he must file a copy of his lease or other document granting him control of hunting, fishing, or hunting and fishing rights on the tract.

(2)        Three copies of a description of the tract that will allow law-enforcement officers to determine in the field, and prove in court, whether an individual is within the boundaries of the tract. This description may take the form of a map, plat, aerial photograph showing boundaries, diagram keyed to known landmarks, or any other document or description that graphically demarks the boundaries with sufficient accuracy for use by officers in court and in the field. Any amendment of the boundaries of a registered tract must be accomplished by a new registration application meeting the requirements of this subsection.

(3)        An agreement by the applicant to post the tract in accordance with the requirements of this section and to make a continuing effort to maintain posted notices for the tract.

(4)        An agreement by the applicant to issue or cause issuance of an entry permit to all individuals to whom he or his authorized agent gives permission to hunt or fish on the tract. The applicant must file the name and signature of any  agent authorized by him to issue the entry permit, and a registrant must amend his application to rescind the agent's authority and to substitute or add an authorized agent.

(5)        A fee of ten dollars ($10.00) to cover the administrative costs of processing the registration application.

(c)        The Executive Director must examine any submitted application to determine whether the requirements of subsection (b) have been fully met. If he determines that these requirements have been met and if his inquiries of persons with knowledge of the locality of the tract corroborate the truthfulness and accuracy of the information in the application, he must register the tract of property and notify the registrant of his action. Registration consists of filing the application in a central registry open to the public with an indication whether the property is registered as to hunting, fishing, or both. Upon registration, the Executive Director must send, for the  information of protectors and other law-enforcement officers, the two  duplicate copies of the description of the tract as follows: (i) to the sheriff of the county in which the tract is located, or to the chief of the county police department if such a department is the primary agency enforcing the criminal laws in a county; and (ii) to an appropriate protector stationed in the area where the tract is located. The Executive Director must also furnish officers with copies of the signatures of registrants and their authorized agents and other pertinent information for enforcement of this Article.

(d)       A registrant must post his registered property as soon as practicable after receiving notice that the tract was accepted for registration. Posted notices must measure at least 120 square inches;  contain the word "POSTED" in letters at least three inches high; state that the property is registered with the Wildlife Resources Commission and that hunting or fishing, or both, are prohibited without an entry permit; and set out the name and address and, if feasible, the telephone number of the person to contact for an entry permit. At least one notice must be conspicuously posted on the registered property not more than 200 yards apart close to and along the boundaries. In any event at least one notice must be placed on each side of the registered property, one at each corner, and one at each point of entry. A point of entry is where a roadway, trail, path, or other way likely to be used by entering sportsmen leads into the tract. If registered property is posted only with respect to fishing, it is sufficient if the notices prohibit fishing without permission, and are posted at intervals of not more than 200 yards along the stream or shoreline and at points of entry likely to be used by fishermen. Notices posted along the boundaries of a tract must face in the direction that they will be most likely seen by persons entering the tract. Notices posted along a stream or shoreline must face in the direction that they will most likely be seen by anyone intending to fish. With respect to any particular hunter or fisherman, or person who has entered to hunt or fish, there is substantial compliance with  this subsection, notwithstanding that one or more of the required notices may be absent, illegible, or improperly placed, if any notice  is or has been reasonably visible to him while he was within or approaching the registered tract.

(e)        If a registrant loses his proprietary interest or his control of the hunting, fishing, or hunting and fishing rights as to which he  has registered the property, he must within 20 days notify the Executive Director. If a new person who controls those rights wishes to continue the registration of the tract, he must make application under the terms of subsection (b), except that no copies of the tract's description need be filed if there is no change of boundaries. When the Executive Director receives the notice under this subsection, or otherwise learns that a registrant has lost his proprietary control of the applicable hunting, fishing, or hunting and fishing rights, and there is no pending application to continue registration of the tract, the Executive Director must immediately delete registration of the tract, notify the presently responsible landholder, and require him to remove any remaining posted notices.

(f)        A person who controls the hunting, fishing, or hunting and fishing rights to registered property may apply to the Wildlife Resources Commission in writing to delete the registration of the tract. If he is not the registrant, he must satisfy the Executive Director of his present right to control the applicable hunting and fishing rights. If he is the registrant, his statement that he still controls the applicable rights on the tract is sufficient unless the Executive Director has reason to require further evidence on this point. Upon determination that an application to delete is proper, the Executive Director must immediately delete registration of the tract, notify the presently responsible landholder, and require him to remove any remaining posted notices.

(g)        Any law-enforcement officer or any employee of the Wildlife Resources Commission who determines that a registrant has failed to keep registered property posted in compliance with subsection (d) must so notify the registrant or his agent. If within a reasonable time after notice the registrant fails to take steps to post or repost the tract, or if without regard to notice a registrant is inexcusably or repeatedly negligent in failing to keep the tract properly posted, the Executive Director must immediately delete registration of the tract, notify the presently responsible landholder, and require him to remove any remaining posted notices.

(h)        A landholder's failure to cause the removal of all posted signs within a reasonable time after receipt of notice that the tract has been deleted from registration is a misdemeanor punishable as provided in G.S. 113-135. (1981, c. 854, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-283.  Entry permits furnished by Wildlife Resources Commission.

(a)        Upon registration of property, the Executive Director must furnish the registrant with a reasonable number of standardized permit forms to be carried by individuals given permission to hunt or fish on the registered property. The Executive Director must establish a procedure for resupplying registrants with entry permits for their registered property as needed.

(b)        To be valid, the entry permit must be issued and dated within the previous 12 months and signed by the registrant or an authorized agent whose signature is on file with the Wildlife Resources Commission. (1981, c. 854, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-284.  Affirmative duty of sportsmen to determine if property is registered and posted.

Every individual who enters the property of another to hunt or fish without first having obtained permission from an authorized person in control of hunting and fishing rights or his agent is under  a duty to look for posted notices. In the apparent absence of such notices, the individual intending to enter is nevertheless under a duty to determine if practicable whether the property is registered under the terms of this Article. (1981, c. 854, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-285.  Hunting or fishing on registered property of another without permission.

(a)        No one may hunt or fish, or enter to hunt or fish, on the registered and posted property of another without having in possession a valid entry permit issued to him.

(b)        No one may hunt or fish, or enter to hunt or fish, on the registered property of another without having in possession a valid entry permit issued to him if he has reason to know the property had been posted.

(c)        A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable as provided in G.S. 113-135. (1981, c. 854, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-286.  Removal, destruction, or mutilation of posted notices.

Unauthorized removal, destruction, or mutilation of posted  notices on registered property is a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1981, c. 854, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 859; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

§ 113-287.  General provisions pertaining to enforcement of Article.

(a)        If property is registered, the original or a true copy of the application and all supporting items are admissible in evidence. The registrant's affidavit that he has the right to control hunting, fishing, or hunting and fishing on the registered property constitutes prima facie evidence of the facts so asserted. The description filed with the application constitutes prima facie evidence of the boundaries of the registered property.

(b)        If an individual hunts or fishes, or enters to hunt or fish, on registered property that is or had been posted, any registrant or his agent, any landholder of that property, and any protector or other law-enforcement officer may request that the individual produce a valid entry permit.

(c)        In addition to protectors, it is the duty of sheriffs and their deputies, county police officers, and other law-enforcement officers with general enforcement jurisdiction to investigate reported violations of this Article and to initiate prosecutions when they determine that violations have occurred.

(d)       Any entry permit issued to an individual does not substitute for any required hunting or fishing license. (1981, c. 854, s. 1.)

 

§ 113-288.  Reserved for future codification purposes.

 

§ 113-289.  Reserved for future codification purposes.