ASHE COUNTY — Finding land to hunt and fish on can be a tricky proposition, especially when it comes to using private land for sure outdoor sports.
The Landowner Protection Act, which went into effect in 2011, is designed to protect both land owners and outdoor sportsmen that have an agreement to use private land for hunting or fishing.
According to the North Carolina Wildlife Association, the law “clarifies existing trespass laws for the purposes of hunting, fishing and trapping, to specify the requirements for written permission on posted land only.”
All written agreements must be dated and signed within the previous 12 months and be displayed upon request of any law enforcement officer.
The law also allows for North Carolina Wildlife Officers to enforce trespassing laws much easier and more efficiently. In the past, officers would have to obtain an arrest warrant or criminal summons prior to enforcing a trespassing violation. With the Landowner Protection act, citations can be made on site.
If you have been traveling around Ashe County or other areas and noticed purple paint markers on trees, those paint markings are used to signify that land owners have posted the land. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep posted signs upright, especially with the windy winter conditions that are a staple of the High Country weather, so the purple stripes are used and have the same meaning as a “No Trespassing” or “Keep Out” sign.
North Carolina is one of six states that use the purple paint markers to signify posted lands, joining Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Texas.
Permission forms and more information about the Landowner Protection Act can be found online at www.ncwildlife.org .
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87