I would like to express my concerns about local hunting and trapping, specifically within the proximity of housing and public areas.
In the past few weeks, I have felt restricted in my own home. Because of the hunters and trappers in close proximity to my residence, I am hesitant to go outdoors for my daily walk with my dog. Each day, I am hearing gunshots from the south, west and north of my property, while the waterways and ditches to the east, are peppered with traps.
I do not understand why hunting wildlife is allowed in the spring when animals are reproducing, especially the duck population. I normally enjoy hearing duck calls as they are settling in the nesting boxes provided around our property. I take pleasure in observing the habits of our small flock of birds. But now, not one bird remains near the nesting boxes. Last year, I watched a female duck raise twelve ducklings. One gunshot in the spring of the year, can mean a loss of thirteen foul for the fall hunt. I have heard at least 40 shots around my home.
It seems very short-sighted to think that we can continue to allow hunting of ducks in the spring, without serious consequences. Other animals have almost been eliminated due to over- hunting, the codfish and caribou are prime examples from our recent past.
I am not saying that hunting and trapping should be eliminated. My point is that people have the right to feel safe from encounters with dangerous traps and firearms when they are home and in public places. In my case, the road leading to my farm is used by many walkers, pet owners, and children wading in the waterways frog-hunting. Others have stated that there are concerns on walking trails in Happy Valley.
Could the town specify areas in which hunters/trappers operate without interference? I would urge the councillors of the town of Happy Valley to discuss and propose a bi-law that would protect their residents and allow others to trap and hunt in the hundreds of hectares further away from populated areas.
If there would be reasons why this kind of area could not be established, I would think that good common sense and manners would guide the hunters/trappers. In the last fifteen years that I have lived at my present location, I can name only one hunter who has asked permission to hunt near my property. This promotes a much healthier relationship when respect for others dominates our decisions.
Truthfully, a hunter or trapper knows where people are, it seems presumptuous to continue to hunt/trap when infringing on the right of another one’s privacy and enjoyment of their space. Going into the woods to trap/hunt where the public doesn’t see you, hear the gunfire, smell the bait or to suffer injury, is a no-brainer. A public roadway is no place for a real hunter or trapper.
Goose Bay, NL