Highway hunting ridiculous

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0211propertyshooting2web

There are always at least two sides to any story but it will be difficult for the province to come up with a compelling reason to continue to allow hunting on a tract of land adjacent to Canada’s busiest highway.

The parcel of land in question is known as the Harwich Tract Crown Forest, a sliver of property just off the northern edge of the Highway 401 and Highway 40 interchange.

It’s also adjacent to a home and property purchased nearly 30 years ago by a local couple who’ve planted trees and have operated a modest tree farm there.

While hunting has always been permitted on the crown land, the addition of a wetland area a little over three years ago has resulted in an increase in wildlife and the kind of activity no responsible hunters would endorse.

Night hunting, out-of-season hunting, trespassing, evidence of alcohol use and vandalism are all part of what the couple next door have to put up with.

Exasperated with a lack of response, they’ve sued the province, trying to get hunting banned. The property is so narrow that it’s supposed to be used for bow hunting only, but evidence to the contrary is everywhere.

Deer, turkey, coyote and other carcasses are piled in heaps surrounded by shotgun shells. In other areas, signs have been blasted apart by shotguns and rifles.

The couple next door has “played nice” for the past three years, but have finally had enough and gone public, seeking a ban on hunting of any kind.

It’s clear the province is either unwilling or incapable of enforcing any regulation on the property. Stretched thin by budget cuts, having a conservation officer stationed at the property isn’t an option.

Should hunting be banned, however, Chatham-Kent Police will have the authority to take action and halt the gunplay.

With so much of Chatham-Kent ripped bare of forest cover, we’re loathe to see any crown land removed from hunting, however, the geographical and financial constraints surrounding this site make such a move prudent.

With the matter before the courts, the province won’t say anything.

What it should do is realize that to allow hunters to discharge weapons within a stone’s throw of the 401 is

unreasonable.

It shouldn’t take a judge’s ruling for anyone to see that.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Firearms used in a responsible manner and within the boundaries of the law should pose no threat to motorists. Enforcement of the laws is needed more than anything. This is a failing on the part of the MNR and police. Criminals are responsible not hunters and conservationists.

  2. People and their sprawl encroaches upon and removes natural wildlife habitat. If the piece of land is too smal and proximity to traffic and residences too near for even unintentional (albeit still negligent) mistaken firearms discharge then simple declare it a No Hunting zone. So hunters may have to go farther to hunt. So be it. We are part of a society that takes from nature and we can't then also insist we can hunt on what small remaining bits of land there is where there is a danger to innocents. The elephant in the room when it comes to hunting is this….we , hunters and sport shooters, should be policing our own kind. We all know iresponsible hunters and those who are reckless with guns. If we are responsible hunters who don't want our activities over-regulated or outlawed, maybe its time we reported people who are irresponsible. If there was a day-care center by that stretch of land, would there be an outcry? Of course. This is a no-brainer. Make it a No Hunting zone. Have people in the vicinity report all suspicious activity on or near that land. If people are caught trespassing, especially with firearms, hammer them… seize their firearms, all gear, and the vehicle they used to get there. Done. Next idiot step up. Same thing.. Poachers? Serious jail time. We as firearms owners/users and hunters have a tough enough time with anti-gun rhetoric and paranoia and if we don't show that we are willing to rid our own house of irresponsible gun users, then we deseve to lose whatever we consider our gun rights to be. If you truly believe you should be able to hunt and own guns then why let jackasses like these people ruin it for us. No sense blaming the government when we can do much more than it can. We know how the government will solve this kind of problem… broad spectrum gun laws or over-regulation or maybe even gun bans. If anyone trespasses on a piece of land, with a firearm…. well, maybe they need to be met with an "appropriate" response. If they were in your backyard as your kids played outside, what would you think was an appropriate response?? Just askin' ! Think about it.

  3. On that same property, on two different years I've found and taken photos of Deer Carcasses, 14 piled high one year 10 the other partially skinned and gutted with the antlers sawed off. These Cruel and Inhumane Idiots with guns shoot, poach and hack mindlessly. I've called MNR enforcement a number if times, thankfully they send some poor guy to clean up the mess, but thats not why I call.
    The property is well within shooting range of right the 401.

    Too bad gun ownership doesn't require psychological filtering.

  4. There are ZERO highway bow related incidents in that area yet there are dozens (if not hundreds) of deer/car related collisions in that area annually. Even if hunters don’t prevent this by harvesting those deer then it will be prevented by increased hunting pressure pushing those deer out, making the highway SAFER. If you want to stop trespassing and poaching then STOP trespassing and poaching instead of banning Hunting. Of course the people that follow the law will always be punished because of the government’s incompetance in this pseudo-democratic joke of a country.

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