State v. Oxendine (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-07-0679, 10 pp.) (Wanda Bryant, J.) Appealed from Robeson County Superior Court (Robert Floyd Jr., J.) N.C. App.
Holding: Although defendant Oxendine contended that, as a Native American participating in a Native American hunt religious ceremony, he was exempt from the requirement of obtaining a hunting license, the tribe of which Oxendine is a member – the Haudenosaunee Confederacy of the Tuscarora Nation – is not one recognized by this state; moreover, the hunt was not taking place on tribal land. Therefore, Oxendine did not present evidence that he was entitled to an exemption under G.S. § 113-276, and the trial court correctly denied Oxendine’s request for a jury instruction on legal justification.
We find no error in Oxendine’s conviction of two counts of hunting without a license or in defendant Pedro’s conviction of one count of hunting without a license.
Although the state did not show that Pedro had actually killed a dove, the state presented sufficient evidence that he was immediately preparing to kill a dove. Officer Young’s testimony that Pedro was holding a shotgun while associating with a large group of dove hunters, and that one of the hunters, Oxendine, shot a dove in the presence of Pedro, was sufficient to show that Pedro was engaged in the act of dove hunting. We further note that although Officer Young testified that Pedro repeatedly asserted that he was exempt from the requirement of having a hunting license, at no point that day did Pedro deny that he was dove hunting. As such, the evidence, taken in the light most favorable to the state, was sufficient to show that Pedro was dove hunting without a license.