You Can Hunt Almost Anything In Chattanooga - And Response (10)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yesterday, a deer hunter went bow hunting in Mountain Creek about 200 feet in back of my home and even closer to other houses in the Horse Creek Farms development.

He drove his vehicle onto private property, without permission, to retrieve the rather large deer and place it on his vehicle. When asked by a resident what he was up to, he told her it was none of her (blanking) business. Police were called and a report made.

As chairman of our homeowners association, I heard an earful from upset residents, so I investigated the situation.

Incredibly, there is nothing in the city of Chattanooga codes that mentions anything about hunting in the city limits. It appears that everything to do with hunting is under the authority of the the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The city says you can't let your dog or cat run loose, and you have to get a $50 permit to have a kudzu-eating goat, but apparently during bow-hunting season you can do just about whatever you want.

TWRA seems to say that if the property was properly posted as private and fenced, we might be able to go after the guy.

This incident occurred less than 1,000 feet from Red Bank Elementary School around 11:30 in the morning when students were present.

I just read yesterday that eight men were cited by Chattanooga Police with patronizing prostitution within 1.5 miles of Clifton Hills Elementary.

I find it amazing that you can legally hunt some wildlife near a school, but not others.

Stephen W. Schmidt

* * *

As a resident of an apartment complex on Mountain Creek Road, I was shocked and saddened to hear about the hunter killing a deer behind Red Bank Elementary School. Not only was it horrible to hear about the deer, but how dangerous was it for this "man" to be hunting so close to a school and homes? And then to curse at someone when questioned.

My daughter and I often hike in the woods behind our complex and sometimes take our dog with us. I have often seen and heard other people doing the same, so there is danger involved for those of us who enjoy the woods and wildlife in far less destructive and dangerous ways. We have often enjoyed seeing the deer in the field outside the woods, and I am very angry they are being hunted and the children at Red Bank Elementary and the residents of the area could be in danger if hunting continues. I urge other residents and parents to speak up. The individual who wrote the original comment is right - we regulate other dangerous activities near homes and schools and this should be no exception.

Dana Lingerfelt

* * *

Ok, you goaded me into this one with your ridiculous comparison of a "legal" and regulated sport to prostitution? Are you serious?

So you think it should be handled the same way? Prostitution is a vial crime because it degrades human beings, increases disease, and possibly escalates into sex-related crimes against not only the participants, but to innocent others including children. It is illegal in this state, county, and city, regardless of location. That's why it should be held in contempt.

Now then, hunting during archery season with a bow, is regulated by an agency that does a pretty dang good job. It is neither immoral or unethical. It is not illegal to harvest a deer, and I bet this man is eating this deer right now for breakfast. Just because you may enjoy watching deer doesn't make it any of those negative things. Hunting with a bow near, (as you claim) a school or any residence, does not make a hunter a "danger" to anyone. The vast majority of hunters are safer than non-hunters by a long mile. We spend time learning our craft, practicing, and observing the creatures we choose to hunt. Bow hunting is extremely difficult. It takes a lot of skill to have a successful hunt.

The question of whether he was allowed to hunt on that particular piece of property may be in question, but not because of the rants you make. It he didn't have permission to be there, posted property or not, that in itself would be considered trespassing, and I am sure there will be an investigation of those facts. If indeed he was permitted to hunt there, you really need to get over it.

Hunting, just by the act of hunting, does not a criminal make.

Erik Almy

* * *

Mr. Almy, tell your "there are no dangerous hunter" story to the owner of the recently injured cat and the dog that had to be put down because of a dastardly bow and arrow "accident."

Gail Fishbach

* * *

You should have made a bargain with him to provide you with at least a backstrap or maybe some ground venison after he processed the harvest. Let him do all the work for you.

You must understand what you are missing out on. The backstrap is a real treat if you don’t overcook it. The secret it to cut it thick and fry it in butter rather than grilling. If you overdo it and it transforms from the most wonderful treat to the heel of a boot very quickly.

Venison chili is always the best because it takes seasoning well. It is lean and you do not have to drain off any fat. This allows the wonder flavoring of caramelized onions and pepper to be kept in the pot rather than poured down the drain with excess fat.

Don’t even get me started with making jerky or sausage. There are only squirrel and coyote in my parts of Chattanooga. It is exciting that they are coming back to our parts because the last two years of drought drove them away from our area in the search for water. The squirrel are actually quite tasty if you soak them in saltwater overnight before browning them up in a pan and later putting them in the slow cooker with some potatoes and carrots.

I digress…

As far as being near a school I am not totally sure what the concern is. There is a very large WMA in Hixson that is also near a school and for years there has never been a concern. Would it be any different if there were a stream running though the property of the school and people were allowed to fish. Hooks are sharp you know. Oh wait. I think I understand. You are fearful of mister hunter with a bow and arrow accidentally shooting a school child despite his apparent ability to hit the four inch kill zone of the deer while hanging sideways 20 foot up a tree.

I am not sure that in the history of this great country that there has been a documented case of schoolchildren accidentally being harpooned by a hunter during recess time. Or maybe there is the worry that some innocent eyes within the city limits will be forever tarnished by the violence of harvesting wildlife. If memory serves correct I believe that one of the largest chicken processing facilities in the region is also within the city limits…also near a couple of schools. The humanity.

You may not be aware that many schools in the northeastern region of the United States actually shut down during the opening of deer season. Not because they are scared of errant hunters setting up stands on all four corners of the property, but because attendance is usually so low they treat it the same as a sick or flu day.

I am willing to bet that the property was researched and surveyed for many weeks before the hunt. He might have even owned the property. You can look these things up quite easily on the internet. Unlike many people who really don’t know much about wildlife management and the laws pertaining to it…this hunter seemed to know what he was doing. He probably knew what your automatic response would be if he knocked on your door the week prior to the hunt. Rather than put up with a rant he simply did what he was, as your research has revealed, perfectly entitled to do.

As for crossing over property lines to get his deer – this is the only thing that I see as being foul ball. A hunter cannot enter private land to recover a downed deer without the permission of the landowner. Once a wounded deer crosses a property line, the hunter must seek permission to follow it. If permission is denied, there is nothing the hunter can do to legally recover the deer. If it were on your property and you denied him the right to recover the deer he would have no choice but to leave it there and let it be your problem. If there is a next time you need to ask him for written proof that he is allowed to be on that property. Any good hunter will have this. You will be best served by also getting a license plate number and photo of the vehicle in case the TWRA has to get involved.

The long and short of it is that there are many people in Chattanooga that are unaware of any number of laws at any given time. You are not alone. Neither are hunters. Discovery of truth regarding these laws and codes can be astounding at times. Not much I can offer other than the advice above concerning either finding out if the person who owned that property was aware of the hunter. If so the TWRA would be interested in an illegal hunt and may be able to find out if the man checked in his harvest as he is legally required to do. If everything checks out and no foul play was carried out…you need to bargain next time with that hunter to give you some of that tasty, tasty venison.

Matthew Craigge

* * *

Mr. Schmidt your letter is incomplete and lacks certain very pertinent facts. I have several questions for you: first, do you own any of the land which the bow hunter actually hunted on, or on which he retrieved his legally killed game? Second, the private property on which he parked his car – did you speak with the owner of the property to see if he did not have permission? Third, did the officers responding? Fourth, if he was indeed trespassing, did the owner, via law enforcement, issue a written or verbal do not trespass order? Fifth, is the land on which the hunter on now posted? Sixth, what would you have the hunter do with a downed animal? Leave it to suffer if wounded, or to leave the meat go to waste? Seventh, did law enforcement issue the hunter any citations? Eighth, did you see, or do you know where the deer was initially shot? Was it as close to everything as you imply?

To address your indignation over anyone to dare to hunt near you, in a way which would be persuasive to you, is utterly impossible. I have been a lifelong hunter, shooter, and conservationist. Through my activities I have helped pay for game restoration and management and habitat. Have you? I have encountered some who have what is apparently an aversion to the legal harvesting of game animals and the control of certain problem species.

I would agree that the hunter was rude in his answer to a resident asking what he was doing, but we were left in the dark as to the nature and tone of the resident’s inquiry. Truth is that not everyone is polite or civil in all circumstances, but really, it wasn’t all that offensive, given the way the hunter may have been approached. Even less civility can be found on any Chattanooga byway while driving or biking. Hunting and rudeness are not a crime.

You are incorrect in your argument that you don’t need a permit, or whatever, to hunt; you do of course. A hunter pays for the privilege to hunt. State general game licenses, federal waterfowl stamps, and many other types game specific tags are necessary. Bye the bye, as I alluded to earlier, those various licenses, tags, or/and permits pay for a large portion of wild life management and species recovery programs. Oh, did I mention that and excise tax on ammunition also pays for these programs too? Do you know that these fees were imposed at the request of hunting organizations, and hunters?

Bow hunting is one of the most difficult and demanding types of hunting. It is commonly used management tool in built up areas to safely harvest deer which have grown in unmanageable numbers. Bow hunting is used like that because it is safe and effective in suburban areas. Bow hunting also takes a great deal of skill and patience, it is the epitome of ‘fair chase and harvest’ of hunting. Arrows have a very short range, even with the most modern and powerful of bows.

To cut to the chase; this is a problem that you have with hunting, period. You are offended that someone would intrude into your private world, near your home, kill an animal, field dress (gut it out) it, and take it for consumption. You wish to live in a world where meat is packaged in a store, without exposing you to the killing, butchering, and assorted grit that goes along with bringing you that nice steak that you eat with such relish.

Harry Smith

* * *

I tried and tried to overlook these comments, and I just can't do it.
It's a good thing I have no guns in my home, because I can assure you if I ever saw a hunter on the back of my property with a weapon of any sort hunting deer or any wildlife, I would have to shoot him for trespassing.

A real hunter has the means to travel to a non-residential area for his sport. I have relatives that travel to leased properties in Georgia or to friend's and other relative's unpopulated properties in other states to hunt. They would never, ever be ignorant enough to hunt in someone's backyard.

Dawn Devine

* * *

Ms. Devine, I hope that when you shoot said trespasser, that it's not within 1,000 feet of a school.

And thank you for defining real hunters. Everyone should know city deer are a different breed than country deer, and real hunters would only want country deer.

Go enjoy your chicken or beef for dinner, at least you didn't have to watch them get killed. More importantly, they are not as pretty as deer anyway.

Jonathan Griswold
Soddy Daisy

* * *

Gail Fishbach,
Do not try and compare hunters to someone who would walk up to a German Shepherd and shot it in the face less than 10 feet away (although it would still be just as deplorable had it been 1,000 feet away).

The fact that he used a bow is nothing more than a coincidence. He was not hunting; he was being sick and pathetic. Any and all hunters should be up in arms about Ms. Fishbach making a connection between this man and hunters.

Personally, I could never shoot an animal for game, but do not see anything wrong with it and do not look down upon those who do.

Dallas Cole

* * *

So the man shot a deer and walked on private property to retrieve it. As someone already mentioned, does anyone really think the owner of the land would have rather the hunter left the deer there to rot, smell, and go to waste? I doubt it.

Surely there are more important things we could be spending our time stressing over. Sometimes I think some people complain just to complain. I'm just surprised no one has tried to turn this into a political/racial issue.

Sam Horn

* * *

Let's face it, "sportsman" hunters kill for pleasure not food. If they needed to kill for food, it would be a lot easier to shoot a cow out in a pasture. I should be able to regulate who comes onto my property with a deadly weapon. The "hunter" was armed with a crossbow and had a handgun on the front seat of the vehicle he used to collect his kill.

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