Photo from Dunn Daily Record

A trip to WalMart and you can get just about anything you need but how about your limit of ducks? A small run off pond in a local Walmart parking lot has become the scene of a hunting controversy not likely seen to many other places. A posting on a local North Carolina message forum where people keep up on the happenings with the PTA, Church bake sale, the best place to buy seeds, and the most recent controversy with a local politician has became a sounding board about a falconer hunting the run off pond. It seems that the pond at the edge of the shopping center parking lot has become a resting spot for ducks making their annual migration and a great spot to turn a bird of prey lose.

There has been much discussion on the forum around the legalities of hunting with the bird in town limits, hunting on private property without permission and so on. These are all debatable issues but the bottom line seems that by doing this sport in the public eye and using “technicalities” to get around the issues it’s just begging for scrutiny and public outcry. Although there will always be those opposed to every form of hunting I suspect that the general public would be fascinated with this hunting style and locations to hunt would not be hard to come by with more then a door knock or two.

The controversy seems to be winding down and a more positive approach is being utilized. In today’s local paper an extensive article about the sport and the two gentleman from this part of the state licensed to keep birds of prey. Although the article does not mention the WalMart controversy it does educate the public about the sport and the birds being used. Hopefully this will lead to a more positive view of falconry among the public and preserve the art of this ancient sport.

NC Falconer’s Guild