Southeast Hunting questioned after bullet hits house
By TERRY CORCORAN
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: December 7, 2003)
SOUTHEAST — Although deer-hunting season ends Tuesday,
a recent incident in which a house was struck by a hunter's slug
highlights a growing problem in a rural county where shotgun hunting
is allowed as more and more land is being developed.
One day after David Skelton heard a noise upstairs
in his Rockledge Drive home, his wife noticed wallboard dust on the
carpeting in a guest bedroom.
"I looked around, and I found a large hole in
the wall behind the headboard of the bed," Gina Skelton said. "I
could see daylight through the hole."
She walked behind their two-story house and saw a hole
in the vinyl siding, then went back upstairs and pushed the bed away
from the wall. That's when she saw a 20-gauge shotgun slug on the
floor. It struck a bed where, hours earlier, her mother and grandmother
It's gotten so bad in the Skeltons' neighborhood off
Dingle Ridge Road that few parents let their children play outside
during shotgun deer-hunting season, which started Nov. 17.
"It's like playing Russian roulette," said
Rockledge Drive resident Brian Felton, 40, who has two children and
whose shed was hit last year. "Eventually, someone's going to
"I won't let the kids or the dog out during hunting
season, and I'm afraid to walk into the woods myself," said
Orser, the father of four. "Hunters trespass through the back
yard. Last year, someone got a deer, dragged it behind my garage,
chopped the head off and left the carcass there."
Orser said he's confronted hunters, but that they usually
dismiss him. He's also called police, but said he's found no satisfaction
Skelton, 41, said she's hoping the hunting will stop
now that a corporation has acquired the land. She said a Manhattan
attorney affiliated with the corporation was upset to hear of her
predicament and said no one had permission to hunt. A drive last
week on Nichols Road, which has more dirt than pavement, showed no-hunting
signs posted roughly every 25 feet.
"Somebody is going to get killed," she said. "It
was only by the grace of God that no one was in that bed when that
bullet came through my house and slammed into that headboard. One
of the reasons we moved up here was to not deal with urban issues
like bullets hitting your home."
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:
C.A.S.H. sent in a letter and 18 pages of summarized
hunting accidents sorted by various field such as “location,” “age,” etc.
to all of the town board in support of Ms. Skelton’s attempt to stop
[Editor’s note: Taxes on firearms used in cities contribute
to the “Conservation Fund” and are used to promote more hunting outside
of the cities. People who are fighting current gun laws must begin
to see hunting’s connection. The Pittman-Robertson Act and the promotion
of hunting by wildlife management agencies must be seen as serious
impediments to their cause of eliminating urban gun violence.]