Sir: Our family lives in southern rural Chatham-Kent. Very recently we learned some key regulations, meant to protect land and life.
In Ontario, hunters are governed by a number of regulations. For example, in our area, according to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, “a person shall not possess a loaded firearm for the purpose of hunting in the area that is within eight metres from the edge of the travelled portion of the right of way.”
As well, the former railway right-of-way, now owned by Entegrus, has regulations found under the Trespass to Property Act.
Although activities such as hiking/walking are permitted on certain sections of the Entegrus strip, on no section whatsoever is hunting legal. Likely, local residents who were accustomed to seeing hunters on foot, when the double tracks were still in place and road vehicles could not access this strip, were not aware that once the tracks and significant gravel were removed and the land was purchased by Entegrus that hunting along this strip was illegal.
Luna, our Husky-Australian cattle dog cross, was shot in our soybean field across the road from our home Sunday afternoon, March 3. All our property is posted as “No Hunting.”
Indications are that, from the Entegrus property, Luna was killed, with her collar and C-K and vet tags on. Her body was dragged back to the Entegrus property, thrown on the light-coloured, regular-cab pickup truck we saw, and taken west to who knows where.
The site of the bloodbath is approximately 250 feet off the Entegrus property line, in the direction towards our home.
Many neighbours here, on both sides of the Entegrus property, do not permit hunting on their land, and make the effort to sign and/or communicate that to those hunters who are not courteous or law-abiding enough to ask permission. However, the Entegrus property dividing such lands has no such oversight. At the easterly crossing, where Luna’s killer would have entered the Entegrus property, there is no warning signage whatsoever. Nor is there any signage in the kilometre-plus stretch to the next access or exit point.
There should be very visible no-hunting signage along this route, and a mechanism for enforcement.
For those of us living here, we will keep watch, knowing now of the regulations mentioned at the beginning of this letter. We appreciate the integrity of those members of the hunting community who already know and adhere to these (and undoubtedly many more) regulations.
What will Entegrus do, to ensure that there is no illegal hunting taking place on their land, and to demonstrate that they care for the security of their neighbours along this route?
In closing, our family wishes to acknowledge the overwhelming support we have received in the past few days.
John & Cindy Boogaart