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Dogs Are Becoming Casualties In Battle Between Deer Hunters

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MOORE COUNTY — A bitter feud between hunters is taking place in Moore County, and dogs are the casualties. Several hunting dogs have been poisoned or shot to death. One dog owner suspects other hunters are responsible for the killings.

Anthony Seawell's yard is home to hounds eager for the hunt. Lately, when they are on the job, the deer are not the only targets. One of his dogs was shot in the side.

"He's healed up good. You used to be able to put both your fists through the hole where they shot him," he says. "He's shy now. He'll probably be shy the rest of his life being shot. I was probably the maddest I've ever been in my life."

His dog survived a bullet blast. His other dog, Tiny, did not. Seawell and his club hunt for deer on land set aside for hunters who use dogs, but sometimes the hounds stray beyond the boundaries.

Some hunters say there's a war in the woods between deer hunters of two different styles: still hunters who hide and wait for deer to come by, and those who use dogs to track and flush the deer out of hiding.

"You go out there still hunting. You don't want someone going through the woods scaring your deer off," he says. "It's not as bad as it used to be, but there's still a lot of them out there that just hates us. We're just old country boys."

Seawell says there is usually honor among hunters -- a respect for property and rules of safety. He says that is what makes the attacks so unsettling. He says he has lost six or eight different dogs over the past couple of years.

"More or less, it's like someone messing with your young 'uns or a part of your family or a good friend," he says.

On Wednesday, Mac Allen Moore of Raleigh was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, a felony that could mean up to a year in jail. An investigator says Moore shot a dog owned by Jeffrey Fields of Carthage.