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  • NCWRC Proposal dealing with depredation permits

    NC Wildlife Resources Commission Proposals Relax Deer Depredation Rules

    The NCWRC will present proposals at statewide District Public Input meetings in September that will relax the Rules and Regulations that govern the issuance and guidelines for wildlife depredation permits. Here's how the proposals read:

    H19.Reduce requirements for obtaining a permit in cases of depredation (causing damage) and allow for better use of wildlife taken under depredation permits by making the following changes:

    * remove the requirement that an animal cause at least $50.00 in damage before the property owner can receive a depredation permit and allow for a permit to be written for any amount of damage;

    H20.Reduce restrictions for taking wildlife in the act of depredation (causing

    damage) without a permit and allow for better use of animals taken while causing damage by making the following changes:

    * remove the limit on the number of deer taken without a permit that can be retained for food. Deer may only be taken without a permit while in the act of damaging property;

    * allow feral swine taken without a permit to be retained for food;

    * allow the use of artificial lights in taking wildlife in the act of depredation without a permit.

    Justification:A number of restrictions for taking wildlife in the act of causing damage are not necessary to properly manage our wildlife resources... Specifically:

    * there is no biological reason to limit the number of deer or feral swine taken without a permit that can be retained for food. There have been concerns about meat from animals killed while causing damage being wasted;

    * artificial lights aid landholders who take depredating wildlife after dark.

    We disagree with parts of proposal # H19 & # H20. These proposals can be read in their entirety from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission website at: . Anyone can also comment on them online or write a letter to the commission.

    Allowing the use of artificial lights (spotlights) without a depredation permit is not acceptable by legal and ethical sportsmen and conservationists. This will lead to uncontrolled, unenforceable, illegal poaching and wanton killing and waste of deer, bear and other wildlife resources.

    Removing the minimum $50 depredation damage requirement and allowing the unrestricted and sometimes unlimited killing of deer and bear violates the agencies legal responsibility to manage and protect our wildlife resources in a responsible manner. Before uncontrolled sport and market hunting was outlawed by modern hunting laws in the early 1900's, buffalo, antelope, elk and deer were almost hunted into extinction. Strict hunting laws and efforts by strong wildlife conservationists like Teddy Roosevelt saved them. But, make no mistake. It can happen again.

    The proposals remove the restriction on the number of deer taken without a permit that can be retained for food, and that is a good thing! But, there is no provision that requires the landowner to make any attempt to retrieve the carcass to be utilized for food, or to require that the landowner allow others to do so. There are groups and individuals that would love to retrieve the carcasses and have the meat processed for their own use, or for distribution to people who need and could use it.

    Sadly, the current method of operation utilized by many who obtain depredation permits is to shoot deer (and bear) in fields, day and night, with a .22 caliber rifle or shotgun. Deer and bear are deliberately shot in the paunch, so they will not die on-site. They run off to a secluded location to die a slow and agonizing death. This serves two purposes:

    1- .22 caliber ammunition is cheap.

    2- The landowner doesn't have to dispose of a dead and rotting carcass in their fields.

    Anti-hunting groups are going to have a heyday with this and use this as an argument to criticize the agency and legitimate and ethical hunters as well, and rightfully so! In our opinion, this is a deplorable and unacceptable practice. The WRC should take some action to help stop this from occurring.

    We do sympathize with the farmers who suffer significant crop losses due to deer and bear depredation damage. However, these proposals are not ethically, morally or humanely acceptable as they are written now.

    The proposal says there is no biological reason to limit the number of deer that can be taken without a permit that can be retained for food.. The NCWRC is issuing depredation permits to shoot black bear and deer right now! I'm sure the WRC has conducted a study to support this position. Perhaps they will share it with us?

    Has anyone considered the moral and ethical ramifications of allowing unlimited killing of deer and bear without a depredation permit? I wonder what Aldo Leopold would say about this?'

    The WRC has said time and again it is their duty to create more hunting opportunities for all hunters. That sounds great, but these proposals are doing just the opposite. Our requests for an earlier bear season when crops are still in the field have been disregarded. Now, bears are being slaughtered with no chance or opportunity for anyone to legally hunt them.

    We offer the following suggestions for consideration that could help remedy the issues we have with these proposals:

    1- Do not eliminate the minimum $50 damage requirement to issue a depredation permit.

    2- Do not allow shooting of deer or bear without a depredation permit during day or night time.

    3- Do not allow deer or bear to be shot with a rimfire cartridge (or a shotgun), specifically a .22 caliber cartridge. They must be shot with a weapon that has the capability to kill it quickly and humanely so it can easily be retrieved.

    4- Require landowners who are issued depredation permits to make an effort to retrieve and utilize the carcass, or require that they make arrangements to allow someone else retrieve the carcass.
    This isn't fair to the animals. I feel especially bad for the black bear population if all of this passes. It just doesn't seem to help the situation. I wonder what we can all do to help and try to stop this from happening?!
    what you can do
    The thing to do is go to the NWRC website a let them know how you feel about it. they have a place to leave comments
    here is a link to leave comments on law proposals
    here's the link to where you can go to leave your comments about proposed rules