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Should Bow Hunting Be Allowed in the Landlocked Forest?

Members of the Board of Selectmen stated town to collect information, opinions, and address the issue.

Should bow hunting for deer be allowed in Burlington's Landlocked Forest?

That question was posed to the Board of Selectmen during Monday night's meeting. The board did not make any decision on the question but stated it would create a sub-committee to solicit input from the community and consider the issue.

Chair of the Board Ralph Patuto said the town has bylaws against discharging firearms in Burlington, making hunting with shotguns or rifles de facto outlawed. However, it does not have any specific no-hunting rules, which allows for bow hunting.

Patuto added that hunting in the Landlocked Forest has taken place for decades. To date, the board has been silent on the issue.

There were representatives on both sides of the issue at the meeting, those for and against bow hunting on town owned property.

A representative for those against bow hunting said that though there has not been any reported injuries a single incident would be a sad event and a liability for the town. She said that many people use the forest for walking, hiking and biking, including Boy Scouts who do orienteering, and that hunting could pose a risk for those enjoying other recreational activities.

She also pointed out there are now signs alerting hikers that hunting may be taking place in the forest.

A proponent of bow hunting in the forest said that the chance of injury is low. He said that because bows have much less range than firearms, hunters must get close to the target animal, usually within 20-30 yards, and have a clear view of the deer before releasing an arrow.

He also said that bow hunting would help the town control the deer population.

Selectman Daniel Grattan said he would create the sub-committee to address the question.

Patuto said he was hesitant to outlaw a recreational activity on town land.

"We take property to conserve it," he said. "To prohibit one particular group from using it, especially residents, has to be looked at hard. Equality is the way to go. I’m not in favor of prohibiting recreational use for property that was taken for recreation."

What do you think? Should bow hunting be allowed on town owned land? Let us know in the comments section below.

Julie November 13, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Yes there is a meeting open to the public on the 14th to discus the issues at hand. There will be no vote on Wednesday night.
marilyn white April 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Long time Resident It sounds like we are missing a great opportunity to offer the residents a citizen and family-oriented place for a beautiful walking park with gardens and granite benches. Lets invite sculptors to display their handiwork. There are all kinds of things we could do better than create a place of destruction and danger for those enjoying a walk in nature's gift to Burlington. Please choose carefully.
John Garber April 27, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I am a Burlington res and I support passing bow hunting there! we need to controller the population of deer and further more we should be allowed to hunt there in the spring for Turkey we need to control the population iam sick of have my truck damage by turkeys as when they see there reflection of them self they attack my vehicle s. STOP BEING ANTI HUNTERS! let us do are part in the community like we done for years! what do you think will happen if we don't control the population car accidents will go up from them running out in the middle of the road what if you or your kids are in that vehicle oh then your gunna want are help aren't you what about when the turkey population goes up more an there chasing you around your house or down the street when your out walking or how bout. When your kids can't go out and play at night because the family of coyote s that are roaming the yard. You ANTI HUNTERS make me sick you people think it's a sport! When we do it to eat and controller the population and make are community safe so are kids can go out and play at night so you can walk your dog at night! Really think about what you people are doing beside of harassing HUNTERS!!! Sooner or later the town will be over run by these animals and we the HUNTERS why would we want to help you then? pass the law and you ANTI HUNTERS common sense would you go for a walk during hunting season without wearing Orange hat or a vest ?No you wouldn't!
Acton Hunter June 26, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Are you kidding me !? Near a hwy with a bow that shoots max 50 yards! Mistake a dog for a deer ? Hunters are well trained enrolling in several government run courses before being awarded the privilege to hunt our own land.Are you kidding me ? Why not allow hunters to hunt on town land we pay the same taxes as you do ! Plus we pay for outdoors cards,hunting licences and tags .Do you purchase a licence,tag or outdoors card to walk on the trails ? Hunting contributes millions into the local economy every year.Are you kidding me ? Seriously ?
Carrie June 26, 2013 at 08:43 PM
I believe the town has decided it is going to allow bow hunting for town residents at certain times and signs will be posted. I guess that's only fair.

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