Hunting Deer with Dogs:
Rights, Responsibilities & Reporting
Under the auspices of the Board of County Commissioners and the County Manager, The Orange County Sheriff’s Office and a number of County departments have worked together to address some adverse impacts of deer hunting with dogs in the northern part of Orange County. They are providing public information and developing a process under current state law and County ordinances for responding to concerns. These departments include Animal Services, Emergency Communications (911), and the Office of the County Attorney.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will respond to 911 calls and involve the Wildlife Resource Commission, Animal Services and other agencies as needed.
- Hunting deer with dogs can produce conflicts within our community. The purpose of this brochure is to help minimize these conflicts.
- Hunting deer with dogs in Orange County is exclusively governed by the legislature and state law.
- Hunting deer with dogs is only allowed north of Interstate 85 in Orange County.
- Session laws for Orange County prohibit hunting on private property without written permission regardless of whether the property is posted.
- The Board of County Commissioners has in recent years pursued getting the NC legislature “to act to prohibit the hunting of deer with dogs in Orange County.” The Board may or may not continue with these efforts in the future.
- The Board has instructed staff to initiate a public outreach campaign and mitigate public health and safety concerns.
- Hunters cannot lawfully hunt on any private property whether or not it is posted without written permission of the land owner, lessee, or agents.
- Hunters should ask the property owner before coming onto private property for any reason.
- It is illegal to “interfere intentionally with the lawful taking of wildlife resources” and to remove collars from hunting dogs.
Land Owners and Written Permission
- Land owners, lessees, or agents must provide written permission to hunt their property.
- The written permission must be signed within the last 12 months.
- The written permission may be granted to a club and in such cases hunters must carry a current membership card and a copy of the club’s written permission.
- The absence of ‘no hunting’ posting does not grant permission to hunt in Orange County.
- Dogs used for hunting are subject to Orange County’s Animal Control Ordinances and must be currently vaccinated against rabies and wear their current vaccination tag.
- Hunters must observe all hunting regulations, as established by the Wildlife Resource Commission.
- Hunters may not go onto private properties without written permission of the land owner, lessee or agents, even if the property is not posted.
- Written permission must be carried on one’s person and be signed within the last 12 months.
- Hunting club members must have both a valid membership card and a copy of written permission to the club on their person.
- Hunters may not go onto other properties to retrieve dogs (or game) without the permission of the property owner, even if the property is not posted.
- If your hunting dog is missing or impounded by Animal Control, check online at www.orangecountync.gov/animalservices/adoption.asp and at our Animal Services Center, located at 1601 Eubanks Rd in Chapel Hill.
- For any complaints about unlawful hunting behavior, call 911.
- If stray hunting dogs appear on your property, carefully and safely confine them and call 911.
- Be aware of property owner rights and protections and report any violations to 911 as soon as they occur.
For more information please visit http://www.ncwildlife.org/hunting.aspx. Same Landowner Written Permission forms are available from the Wildlife Resource Commission