Protecting the rights of both hunters and landowners is a balancing act. Recently there was concerns about hunters firing too close to houses on the canals surrounding Hunters Lake. The resolution wound up being that the canals were declared bird sanctuaries with hunting banned, but hunting is still allowed on Hunters Lake.
The Richloam Wildlife Management Area is one of the last areas in the county that still allows dogs to be used in hunting during the appropriate seasons for game. A majority of the hunters who use dogs do not bother anyone and hunt back in the Richloam Wildlife Management Area away from the private homes. However, there are a few who hunt near the homes.
Signs were recently posted on Richloam Clay Sink Road and Riverland Road which state “Private Property thru traffic only”. Eric Burke said the signs are to prevent the small minority of hunters from hunting near the houses. The land on parts of Richloam Clay Sink Road and Riverland Road is privately owned.
The Richloam Sportsman Club was concerned that the roads might be closed, but Eric Burke confirmed that was not his intention. He said that the roads would stay open. The hunters who use dogs were especially concerned about Riverland Road, since they use that road to intercept dogs that are chasing animals before they reach State Road 50. Without Riverland Road if a deer ran towards 50 the hunters would not be able to stop their dogs from chasing the deer until they reached 50, which would place the hunters, dogs, hunted, and cars at danger.
It seems that residents and the hunters will be able to work out a solution that they will be able to live with.