RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Animal trappers want Wake County to reconsider its stance on foxes and coyotes.
Unlike with most wild animals, the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission has limited authority to regulate fox hunting and trapping seasons.
Individual counties can decide whether or not to permit fox trapping, but must obtain approval from the state legislature to make the practice legal.
“You have to go to the county first, and ask the county to ask the legislature to run a local bill, and that’s what the North Carolina Trappers Association is asking of Wake County,” Ches McDowell said.
“The more Wake County pushes out into these traditionally rural areas, the more interactions with wildlife can become a problem, so trappers solve a number of needs.”
Members of the Trappers Association met this week with the Wake County Commission’s Growth, Land Use & Environment Committee.
McDowell said animal trapping can protect people, pets, livestock, and agriculture. He said beavers can build dams which flood farmland, so trapping and relocating the beaver can eliminate that problem without killing the animal.
Commission Vice-Chair Sig Hutchinson said he is in the process of learning about animal trapping, but he has seen coyotes and foxes becoming a bigger issue in the Triangle.
“Occasionally we’ll come outside and hear these coyotes, maybe on a full moon or something. So I know they’re moving into the area. We’ve always had foxes, but I don’t know how much of a problem it is,” Hutchinson said.
“This opens up a whole host of new questions, and we’d love to hear from the citizens about what they think about this.”
Fox trapping season often overlaps or coincides with hunting season, which is permitted in 85 of the state’s 100 counties. Only 43 counties allow fox trapping.