Montgomery Co. Neighborhood Wants to Change Hunting Laws

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By Jessica Gertler

A Montgomery County neighborhood wants hunting laws to change. Residents say the safety zone that surrounds their subdivision isn't large enough, and hunters are firing guns too close to their property.

Just off Highway 231, where the city and county line meet, sits a handful of homes. Surrounding those houses are hunting clubs.

Neighbors say the area in between is too small, and it's causing safety concerns.

Driving down Jenkins Lane you'll find twenty homes including Ronnie Gause's.

"You can be sitting here on your porch at 4:30 to 5:00 in the morning, when it's not daylight, and you hear a gun pop off," says Gause.

Gause says his once quiet neighborhood is now filled with hunters, and he says they're firing their guns too close to his property.

"We just want a safety zone where you don't have to worry about getting shot walking in your backyard," he says.

As the law stands, a hunter can be 100 yards from a dwelling.

"We came out and investigated, but the potential here is very low for that dangerous situation," says Lt. Heath Walls with the state's Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Enforcement.

But Wilma Minor says 100 yards is too close for comfort. She wants the safety zone extended.

"It may not make a difference in the long run, but it would give us a sense of security," she says.

And a couple houses down lives Faye Gamble. She has a 10-year-old son.

"Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night. Sometimes he wakes up early morning to the sound of gun shots," Gamble says. "It's [scary]. Very much so."

Walls says he has no record of a house ever being shot by a hunter in Montgomery County.

"It's a wooded area here, and you're going to hear gun shots, but that doesn't mean someone is doing something wrong or it's unsafe," he says.

The neighbors on Jenkins Lane say they want to be proactive rather than reactive.

"I'm just asking for a safety zone. If it's a zoned subdivision, give us a cushion," he says.

Lt. Walls says he thinks 100 yards from a dwelling or home is more than safe, and says there are no plans of extending it. He says that's something the legislature would have to change.

With bow hunting season underway, if you feel a hunter is too close to your property or is being unsafe, please call the Game Watch toll free at 1-800-272-4263.

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