Logo courtesy of N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

From the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, shared July 5:

Logo courtesy of N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

RALEIGH – A new law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly requires hunters and anglers to obtain written permission from a landowner or leaseholder before hunting or fishing on privately-owned posted property — including land, waters, ponds or legally established waterfowl blinds.

The Landowner Protection Act also provides two ways for landowners to post their lands to allow only hunters, trappers and anglers with written permission to legally enter their property. Landowners can now post their land by using vertical purple paint marks on posts or trees, or, as in the past, by placing signs or posters. View the Landowner Protection Act document with more detailed instructions on posting property with signs or purple paint.

The Landowner Protection Act specifically relates only to hunting, fishing, or trapping on posted lands. It clarifies the existing G.S. 14-159.6 requirement for written consent to hunt, fish, or trap on posted lands by specifying that written permission, dated within the past 12 months and signed by the landowner, leaseholder, or agent of that land, be carried and displayed upon request of any law enforcement officer. If a hunting club has leased the land, a person shall have a copy of their hunting club membership and a copy of the landowner permission granted to that hunting club.

The Landowner Protection Act does not change general trespass laws nor have any effect on lands that are not posted. It does not repeal any local acts currently in effect that require written permission to hunt, fish, or trap.

Under existing landowner liability law, landowners providing permission for hunting or fishing on their property, without charge, assume no more liability than currently is afforded a trespasser, in accordance with G.S. 38A-4.

The Landowner Protection Act goes into effect Oct. 1, 2011. Violation of this act is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

For more information on the Landowner Protection Act, visit frequently asked questions and view a sample permission form.

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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  1. Just wanted a clarification that if a landowner leases land to others the leeses now need to have a copy of the lease on them or does the landower need to sign another paper giving hunting rights. How is the easiest way to abide by this new law? What is the reasoning behind the law? I know the people that lease my land. Why not go after the dog hunters and require them to get written permission from the adjacent landowers before they let there dogs out.

  2. The new land owner protection act does nothing to protect land owners from hunters with loose dogs, such as are used to hunt deer and bear, as the hunters openly admit that they can not hunt without their dogs trespassing onto private property. The dogs are turned loose on the community with radio collars, often starved before the hunt, and repeatedly kill livestock, and pets, and damage property. This is a particularly lawless group of hunters who feel they may trespass or harass private land owners for access to their property repeatedly. If the Legislator truly wants to protect landowners in NC they will ban hunting with loose dogs. The Legislature has no right to allow our private property to be invaded by loose dog hunters either by omission of duty to protect or by openly condoning this illegal behavior. To take private property for public use by bear/deer hunters with uncontrolled loose dogs is a violation of our Constitutional rights under the 14th Amendment.

    Much abused by bear hunters,
    Elizabeth O’Nan