Jake's Outdoors » Blog Archive » Suburban Hunting: Follow Up

Suburban Hunting: Follow Up

January 12th, 2009

A few days ago, I wrote a post that had to do with suburban hunting.  I wrote about how such close hunting often brings non-hunters, and hunters into close quarters with one another.  One thing I didn’t really address was how anti-hunters could use this controversy to their advantage.  Well, I found a “letter to the editor” from an anti-hunter (the VP of Animal Action Inc.) who is trying to use this issue to put an end to all hunting.

This letter, published in the Baltimore Sun, calls for the “Safety Zone” to be expanded to the effective range of any fire arm.  Consider this quote:

We need to enact an effective, enforceable law that provides a single safety zone based on the maximum range of allowed weapons.

And the range required must be from the hunter to the edge of adjacent properties – not to a home or building.

If the buffer zone is measured to the home or building, as it is under current law, children playing in their own yard could be in great danger.

Frequent readers of this blog know that I am all for safety.  I am extremely cautious with a firearm, as are all the people that I hunt with.  In fact, if anyone were to mishandle a firearm in our group, they would never be invited to hunt with us again.   That being said, this plan proposed for a “single safety zone based on the maximum range of allowed weapons” is nothing more than a plan to put an end to all hunting.  Consider that the “maximum range” of a firearm can be in the ballpark of several miles!  Granted, the author is probably addressing a law that is present in the Baltimore area, and therefore is restricted to shotguns, but the maximum range could still be well over a half mile!

Also, notice that this author wants the law to be changed to be measured to “the edge of adjacent properties”, not buildings or structures.  Imagine the impact of something like that.  If your neighbor has 200 acres, you would not be permitted to hunt within the “maximum range of allowed weapons” from his property line.  That puts  you at least a half mile from the closest adjoining boundary to your hunting area.  I am sure that you can see how this would effectively put an end to “small plot” hunting all together.  The only places that would be open to hunting would be large tracts of land (several thousand acres, in one tract).  How many of us would be able to hunt at all if that were the case?

I know if I consider the property that we hunt, there wouldn’t be any of it that would fall into “huntable property” if this suggestion were to be enacted into law.  Hunting with high-power rifles means that we have a “maximum range” much longer than most people realize, or want to think about.  However, if we handle them responsibly, there is no danger to anyone in the homes that surround the property that we hunt.  Not to mention the fact that there is a mountain between almost all of our stands and the homes that are in the general area.  You see, that would make no difference to person who suggested this…because it is not really about safety at all.  But, then again, if you want to get something done for your “cause”, just do it “for the sake of the children”!

I don’t really see something like this coming to fruition.  However, it is not unheard of for legislators to step in and try to make laws concerning things they know nothing about.  I hope that it doesn’t sound like a good idea to some Senator, who tries to ramrod it through the Maryland state congress.  But, then again, there are those who have decided that making every bullet traceable is a good idea.  So, let’s hope those nuts are still outnumbered by the rational.

3 Responses to “Suburban Hunting: Follow Up”

  1. This definitely isn’t about “safety” at all; it’s about having a ban on hunting, period.

    In Michigan we have a law that no weapon, bows included, can be discharged within 450ft of an “occupied dwelling” -unless you have permission.

    This law is completely reasonable to me. The law you speak of isn’t about being reasonable, or about anyone’s safety – it is simply a way to ban all hunting in these particular areas.

    I hope you keep tabs on it Kris, and make sure that no Senator does decide to pick it up for “the sake of the children”.

    Hopefully reasonable heads prevail. Geesh!

  2. Yeah, Arthur, we have similar “safety zone” laws here as well, and they are very reasonable. I’m all for reasonable laws…but this is just irrational!

    thanks for the comments!

  3. […] When I started this thread a few days ago, I never thought it would lead me to where I am today.  I thought it was a challenge that would certainly affect some hunters, but it seems that the concept is steamrolling, especially in Maryland, and will be causing significant problems for hunters if it is not stopped.  I am speaking of the proposal to change the safety zone for hunting to the “maximum range of a legal firearm” as I reported in my last post. […]

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