Dear Mr. Clement,
In talking with some neighbours the other day, the topic of hunting on private land came up.
I decided to write to you with my views and hopefully you can take these ideas into consideration if and when the government decides to take action on the issue of conflicts between hunters and landowners. In a rural area this certainly occurs. On the 100 acres where our house is located, outside Sprucedale, we have been walking on our trails well within the property boundaries and have had to turn back due to rifle fire overhead. This was on New Year's Day three years ago. The police and MNR were completely uninterested in this situation, until our local councillor called them a week or so later. Anyway, I guess that is no surprise given the present state of the laws...
So here are a few ideas which I hope can one day become the law in our area.
1. The hunting laws in this area should be changed so that they are the same as those on Manitoulin Island, where the hunter needs permission to hunt on private land whether it is signed or not. It is the hunter's responsibility to be hunting legally. Why should residents of Manitoulin have this protection and I don't?
2. The law should be changed to prohibit the discharge of firearms within 500 metres of a residence. This is a tragedy waiting to happen, in an area like ours where development of the rural area is continuing.
3. There should be no hunting on recreational trails such as the Seguin Trail. I have walked on or near this trail daily for 12 years. Except of course during hunting season(s) when I, as an unarmed pedestrian, am forced to drive into town to take a walk.
I also agree with my neighbours that there should be a way, such as a patch, to identify hunters.
Thank you for considering these points, which I think would greatly improve the safety of Ontario residents who live in rural and northern communities.