Polk asks state for legal trapping of furbearers

Published 5:40pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Polk County Commissioners are asking the state to amend House Bill 744 to include Polk County as a legal county to trap furbearers during trapping season.

Furbearers listed with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission include beaver, bobcat, coyote, gray fox, groundhogs, mink, muskrat, nutria, opossum, otter, raccoon, red fox, spotted skunk, striped skunk and weasel.

It is currently not legal to trap furbearers because of a 1975 state law that excluded Polk, Rutherford and Cleveland Counties from being able to trap furbearers.

Commissioners met Jan. 7 and approved a resolution asking the state to amend House Bill 744 to include Polk County on the list of counties that allow for the legal trapping of furbearers during the regular trapping season as set forth by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The resolution brought several speakers in favor of petitioning the state for the amendment.

Polk County resident and retired major with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission John Blanton said when the law was passed in 1975 the beaver and coyote population in Polk County was basically nonexistent, but now they are abundant. Blanton said beavers do major damage to property and the wildlife commission has allowed night hunting of coyotes to help eliminate the animals. He also said muskrats are hazards and Polk County has had cases of fox and skunks with rabies.

“There’s no scientific basis for this local law,” Blanton said.

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