Pamlico County planners to tackle duck hunting complaints

Sun Journal (New Bern, NC), 2014-07-27

July 27 -- BAYBORO -- Complaints about duck hunting on Goose Creek Island and a citizens' petition requesting the county to stop future duck impoundment construction will go to the Pamlico County Planning Board on Tuesday night.

The matter was forwarded to the planners from the county commissioners after they received a petition with about 60 names from residents in Hobucken .

The commissioners noted there are a variety of unanswered questions as to government authority over regulations for duck impoundments -- county, state or federal.

Duck hunting on lands that have been flooded and planted with crops has long been a tradition in that area of the county.

The planning board, which meets the last Tuesday of each month, did not have a meeting planned for July, but will now convene Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the commissioners' room on the second floor of the county courthouse in Bayboro .

Planning board chairman Hiram Lupton Jr . said he hopes the late-scheduled meeting will draw a quorum among its seven appointed members.

Lupton said that prior to the meeting, his board has no more information on the matter than the commissioners.

"We are going to be discussing it and get counsel from our attorneys as to what limitations we may have to do anything," he said. "We want to make sure we are not overstepping our bounds."

An inspections department spokesman said earlier that no county permits are needed, except for a possible health department permit for a well. The impoundments are constructed with earthen berms and then the land is flooded and planted with crops that attract wild ducks. The water source is usually a well.

Lupton said he was a supporter of both property rights and public safety, which appear to be two emerging issues in the matter.

Some residents have complained of noise as well as pellets landing in their yards, on roofs and some striking people.

At the commissioners' meeting earlier this month, Chairman Paul Delamar III and the board decided there needed to be more clarity on the issue -- whether the county had jurisdiction or whether it is a matter for state and federal rules regarding duck hunting.

Commissioner Carl Ollison , who lives in nearby Mesic , made the motion to send the matter to the planning board, of which he is a member.

Charlie Hall can be reached at 252-635-5667or 252-259-7585.


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