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June 23, 2008

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Discussion Topic: Duck Hunters Vs. Waterfront Residents

From the Chicago Tribune:

Elkhart[, Indiana,] resident Dottie Arnold said her home has been peppered with buckshot pellets from [duck] hunters across the St. Joseph River for a few years. . . .

"I don't care if people want to hunt," Arnold said. "That's fine. But I don't want it around my house."

The issue has drawn the attention of state Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka. He introduced a bill last session that would have prohibited hunting in counties with more than 250,000 people along any spot in a river less than 750 feet from a densely populated shoreline. . . .

"Sporting groups think this is some sort of infringement," said Fry, who's a member of the National Rifle Association. "I think it's a safety issue.”

What do you think?

(And, by the way, what do you think of newspaper editors who insist reporters get their facts and terminology (such as “buckshot”) correct—except when it come to guns and hunting?)

For more on this story, see also “Taking Aim At Hunters,” from the South Bend Tribune.



There's a line to be drawn somewhere, but since I don't live or hunt in the area in question, I'm not sure where it is.

I have had residents complain about our hunting in the tidal creeks and marshes back in North Carolina, and while I can certainly see where they don't like to wake to gunshots at first light, I think it's mostly a matter of someone wanting to extend their property rights beyond their property lines.

They complained first about shot landing on their homes and yards, until we prove that no shot has landed on them... and it's highly unlikely that, from the distance we maintain from their dwellings (required by law to be at least 100 yards), shot could actually reach their homes... and certainly not with enough energy to do damage.

Then they complain about the noise waking them up in the morning, but I defy anyone to take a noise meter into their bedroom and demonstrate that our shots are even audible... much less loud enough to constitute a noise violation.

I'm all about being respectful of other people, no matter what activities I'm participating in, but there are limits. Folks need to accept that certain activities occur in certain areas, and if they move in there, they do so with this knowledge in mind.

As far as the editors' general ignorance of firearms and ammunition... if I let myself get bothered about that any more, I'd be locked up in a ward.


The firearms innaccuracies always drive me kind of nuts, but in this case may be justified. The article just says the woman "said her home has been peppered with buckshot pellets". It's quite possible the woman did in fact say her house had been peppered with "buckshot pellets". (The woman obviously would be wrong about what her house had been hit with, but the author was right about what the woman said.)


The proposed law seems very extreme. However the homeowner does have a point. I wouldn't want my house being peppered. There has to be a middle ground somewhere. Maybe just the 750 rule instead of banning hunting in larger counties.


c'mon now, "buckshot" has been in the american vernacular as a synonym for "shotgun pellets" for a loooooong time. probably longer than you've been alive. hunting is, at times, inaccurately represented in media, but this is hardly an example of that.


Mike Diehl

Such a law seems about as reasonable as banning all future construction within 1/4 mile of any river or impondment in counties with more than 250,000 persons.


I'm in Nor'eastern NC and it is just another sad case of nimbyism.

We have licensed open water duck blinds ou tin our sounds. Regulations require that they be at least 500 yards apart however they can be nearer the shoreline. No one shoots toward shore as ducks are usually coming over decoys on the sound or outward dide of the blind.
The problem is the massive growth we have experienced on the coast and all the anti-hunting and anti-gun baggage the newcomers bring with them. In fairness, most of those that move here have accepted that it is something that is done here and some have become quite ardent duck hunters. The problem is those that do not want anyone shooting the "cute little ducks" or the nuisance resident Canada Geese.


Oops! I didn't mean that the duck blinds could be closer together near the shoreline, but that the blind itself could be close to the shoreline...sorry.


So when did she build her home there? If she built it there knowing damn well hunters frequent the area, she should have forsaken her river front property and lived in town. My guess is that the hunters ahve been there a lot longer. Live in town if you don't want to hear gunshots. Hunters need places to go too.


As i understand it, her house is getting hit with pellets. That should not happen.


If that woman's house is being hit with shot then a posted 'Safety Zone' is in order. As people populate traditionally hunted areas we will have to establish safety zones or the politicians will do their political thing as is being attempted in this case.


Amen Mike Diehl and Phillip!!

I've only ever heard of one guy using "buckshot" while duck hunting....and it almost killed a dude when it fell to the water and skipped. He had been deer hunting the night before and just grabbed some ammo on his way out...he grabbed the wrong ones ;)
Stupid reporters and lawmakers!
I also remember hearing two reports come across the wardens radio opening morning(07) as he checked my licenses... in the time it took to show my licenses, plugged gun and life jacket, two peoples houses had been peppered and the warden was to go file the reports! Stupid hunters!

Paul Wilke

I have to think of a pristine lake, where someone builds a lake front home, to enjoy the view. Then cries like a baby when someone else on the other shore builds a lakefront home and spoils his pristine view.
What we really need is a real "conservation zone". On any lake that's fished or hunted, near any field that has small game and around any woodland that is hunted restrict all building.
That should stop all the crying.


Expanding the gun safety zone probably makes sense in some areas. They really need to look at the individual locations and apply appropriate regulations. We should work with ducks unlimited and other organizations to preserve areas specifically for hunting and work to bring young hunters into the fold if we want to have space to hunt in the future.

Home owners shouldn't be hit with "duck shot". They built there homes legally and passed local zoning. It's not like they built their homes next to a gun club. If you want an absolute right to hunt then buy some land on the water and blast away. Public land will always be a battle- so support organizations that preserve land and promote hunting.

Mike Diehl

The *only* appropriate "gun safety zone" would be to prevent people from building their structures where people hunt. If people will build where others hunt, they must learn to live with it. If someone near their home uses a firearm in an unsafe manner, there are already laws on the books to deal with that.


This may sound a bit jaded however I have to say it. The biggest battle we will always fight is for huntable land which is usually public land or conservation areas. The sad fact is much of the prime hunting land and waterside waterfowl habitat still available usually turns out to also be prime real estate. The greedy real estate developers promise desperately needed tax revenue to your local town or county and the real estate developers get all the local ordinances and development they want. It's the same old story, money talks, bull**** walks.


I agree if a law is going to be passed that encroaches on hunters then in this way then it should be just as easy to pass a law that prevents any new construction along lakes and rivers within a certain distance, say 100-200 yards. It will protect hunting and better preserve the environment.



If she built her home knowing damn well hunters use that area, she should expect her house to gte hit. I used to hunt along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. The rich folks would built their huge homes right along the river and then call the cops when they heard shooting or would even confront us asking us to leave. Fortunatley, fish and game supported us. Although that may have changed by now. I'm sick of people who build homes next to public land and then complain about hunters.

Orland K

First off growing up in Ark.(Duck Capital of the world?)I've never even heard of shooting ducks with "Buck-shot",(saw it happen to a squirrel once,BIG MESS),We had the same thing about to happen on Lake Ouchitia, thankfully the powers that be saw that mess coming and said we'll just stop this mess now and went on to ban new houses on the lake, they did and now yrs later you can still hunt and fish on of the most productive area's I've ever had the joy use, so the people who are crying(werever they may be)if you don't like the sounds/sights asst. with your home,in the words of the Late Sam Kinnison, MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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