Stray pellets prompt new hunting signs

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hunting season might be over for the northern part of Iowa, but the season didn't end without a few problems cropping up.

According to Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson, buildings were struck at the solid waste department west of town.

"It was late in the fall and a hunter shot at a goose," Director of Public Works Mark White said. "A few pellets hit the transfer station out there. The hunter was legally placed though."

Hunters may be the legal distance away from the buildings, but new ammunition is traveling further, making a missed shot dangerous for workers at Schwan's and the airport and pedestrians in Stolley Park. It is a "strange area out there," according to White. Schwan's isn't in the Spencer limits, but the transfer station is.

"My concern is how close they are to the park and solid waste," Lawson said.

This isn't the first time buildings have been struck by stray shotgun pellets. The same issue has happened for the last 2-3 years.

Before next fall's hunting season starts, Lawson would like to push hunters further north for public safety reasons. Lawson's plan is to place new signage in the area, inside the city limits, that increases the distance hunters have to be from the buildings.

No one has been charged with any crime, but multiple complaints have been filed. Hunters do move when asked, according to Lawson.

"Hunters do know where they can and can't go," Lawson said.

Lawson would have liked to get the new signs up before the season ended, but approval of the signs has to go through a few channels first. The Spencer Department of Natural Resources has to agree to the new signage, and touch base with a few of the surrounding counties.

No other changes are planned for public hunting areas at the moment.

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  • BULL!!! Iowa state law is 200 yards from any building or if you have permission from the landowner you can hunt around his buildings. This is out of city limits by more than 200 yards. Please don't let the city try and push you out. It would take quite a wind to have a shotgun shoot over 200 yards. You have paid all the fees to hunt. You are legally hunting unless they can get the law changed let them give you a ticket then take it to court.

    -- Posted by Gamegetter on Mon, Jan 14, 2013, at 2:53 PM
  • Seriously? I'm all for hunting but do people really need to be walking the ditch by the 4 way stop northwest of stolleys?

    They are HUNTING literally just across the street from the walking path around the park.

    They said no one has been fined at all, so why are you ranting about getting a ticket and taking it to court?

    Did you even read the article?

    -- Posted by PleaseThink on Mon, Jan 14, 2013, at 4:59 PM
  • i think the setbacks from inhabited buildings and private areas needs to be reason is that many of the new substances being used since the outlawing of lead shot simply carry far further than lead did.we live and farm next to state hunting reserves and have had cattle and farm buildings peppered with shot many times over the past 40 plus years.we should not wait til someone gets shot and then change the setback distance laws, it needs done before a person or property is hurt or damaged.

    -- Posted by big12cc on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 1:37 PM
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