Remember What I Said
April 06, 2006 at 9:22am
I made the statement yesterday in a post about going to the landowners and complaining about who they lease too. Here is a copy of what a man in North Carolina did about dog hunting on leased property that surrounded him. Take Notes..
Check out this article:
"... International Paper Company (IP) is continuing with their plans to close lands to dog hunting and has begun notifying hunt clubs of the changes. The new lease rules presently pertain to hunting deer with dogs.
IP Lease holders in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have been notified that hunting deer with dogs will no longer be allowed on its leases. Many to the lessors in North Carolina were surprised by the new lease terms and have taken issue with IP for making the changes, however IP evidently isn't concerned about the complaints from hunters.
"What we have done as a landowner, is make the decision that some of our lands are better suited to still-hunting for deer," said Jimmy Bulloch, IP manager of wildlife policy and programs. "Forestland that was once vast is now intermingled with homes. And we have seen patterns of complaints from our neighbors, and most of those complaints center around hunting deer with dogs. We understand the tradition of hunting deer with dogs, but we feel that (the restriction) is in the best interest of International Paper, our neighbors and the future of hunting."
The decision to ban dogging deer on certain IP land where there is the potential for user conflicts may have been forwarded by a lawsuit brought against IP in South Carolina that the paper company lost.
The 2002 lawsuit was brought by FOC Lawshe Partnership (EL Nettles, Sr. and Marian Nettles, of Lake City SC), owners of an 841-acre still-hunting plantation surrounded on three sides by IP land. The suit contended that because IP leased adjoining land to dog-hunting clubs, the timber company was liable for creating a nuisance with trespassing dogs.
Sidney T. Floyd, Circuit Court Judge ruled against IP in the suit. The company appealed, but the initial finding was affirmed by the South Carolina Court of Appeals. That legal action continues. Jim Noles, President of the NCBHA was quick to point out, "This is a classic case of hunters fighting amongst themselves and ruining the opportunity to have and practice hunting in a way we can all enjoy it. Hunters should learn from this incident; jealousy and greed will jeopardize decades of hard work protecting our rights."
Meanwhile, in April, IP sent a letter to many a clubs that lease its land notifying them of the dog-hunting ban. International Paper has informed many of the hunting clubs who hold leases in the coastal plain that using dogs to drive deer will no longer be allowed.
"It was not a decision made lightly", said Bullock, "Certainly, we have areas we feel as a landowner that are becoming more appropriate to certain types of hunting. We are not saying we are opposed to a type of hunting. In this situation, we looked at our land base and identified certain areas that were more suitable long term to still-hunting. We did not look at individual clubs. We didn't try to single out individual clubs. We looked at areas that fit those parameters, where we were seeing more and more complaints and issues raised."
"I don't want to sound like our clubs haven't been good ambassadors. By and large, they have," Bullock said. "We support hunting as an activity. We have a long tradition of supporting hunting. The decision was made as a landowner. Our local wildlife teams are working with any clubs to make this transition." We will keep everyone advised of the IP situation.
Our comments: So it appears that the courts have decided that neighboring land owners can press charges against landowners who allow dog hunting in which clubs do not control the dogs. If the landowners do not take action they can and will be held liable for allowing dog hunters (their dogs) which create a nuisance. We'll probably start to see lots of still hunting clubs starting to pressure their neighboring landowners with the threat of pressing charges in order to get then to better control their dog hunting clubs.
We all know that dog hunters say that they cannot control exactly where their dogs go, and that they (the dogs) can't read no trespassing signs, but apparently this will no longer hold up in a court of law, and now the burden will become more upon dog hunters to assure the dogs are controlled and contained.