Monday, December 23, 2013
William O’Brien, 51, of Fairfield thought he had all bases covered when he went deer hunting with a bow early today in the woods behind a Westport home.
According to police, he had a valid state hunting permit and signed consent from the land owner.
But police responding to a call from a neighbor of suspicious people in the woods caught up with him—and his “harvested deer”—and informed him he lacked one thing -– knowledge that hunting is illegal in Westport.
He was issued an infraction for violation of the ordinance banning hunting, police said. By special legislation, Westport is the only community in the state that is authorized to make its own hunting laws.
Posted 12/23/13 at 08:15 PM Permalink
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So, no infraction was issued to the land owner. He or she may not have pulled the bow but certainly shares in the responsibility of the “harvested deer” and putting neighbors at risk by allowing a bow hunter to fire away.
I like that Westport has no hunting but I wish something could be done about all the deer. I just paid $2030 to the bodyshop for repairs to damage to our minivan from hitting a deer.
Since some 80% of bow hunters don’t know what they are doing, are intermittent hunters and do not practice between hunts, bow hunting is far more likely to wound and maim than would a rifle or shot gun and, therefore, all bow hunting should be banned in all civilized countries.
So this guy has a state permit and a landowner’s signed consent. How did he plan to inform neighbors and especially their children (the latter being understandably less knowledgeable about property rights) about his intentions to play in their backyard with a deadly weapon? Do they get orange vests? I’m a Republican and pro-hunting, but not here. You don’t go hunting in a town with 0.5-2 acre zoning. If you’ve got 150 acres in Fairfield then have at it, or go someplace where everyone else knows its hunting season and others may reasonably be expected to understand the risks. Not here. Too many kids on properties too close together. I can’t believe Westport is the only town in CT to ban hunting.
Would that all hunters had your reasoned perspective,David.
Westport got its ability to forbid the discharge of firearms and hunting within the town limits in the 1930’s by special dispensation from the state legislature upon request. A request that would surly not be honored today.
Not only is Westport the only town in CONN. allowed its own firearms and hunting regulation, but, to my knowledge, the only town in the country that has dispensation to contravene STATE regulations….any enlightenment to the contrary would be much appreciated.
As a bow hunter I’d like to think that I’m not one of the “80% who don’t know what I’m doing”.
Westport is the only town in the State of CT with the power to regulate hunting.
From reading and researching the origins of the regulation it pretty much had nothing to do with hunting. 100 years ago the idea of “pass through” (wandering from property to property) hunting was totally acceptable to almost everyone except for a few people who moved to town and got legislators to sponsor a special act. It was really about people from the city who bought large Westport properties around 1900 not liking the locals wandering through their land hunting.
Whether bow hunting is humane or not is something to be debated. To claim it’s “dangerous” (except to the deer) is ridiculous. The shots are close range. I’ve probably killed over 50 deer in Fairfield with a bow and never put anyone in danger.
Why was the property owner not issued a citation too? He is as culpable as the hunter. It is his property and he needs to be aware of Westport’s no hunting regulation. According to state statute I believe you need only be 11 or 12 yrs old to bow hunt with no set back regulation. How many of us would want a pre-teen armed with a bow and arrow in our yards?
The property owner wasn’t hunting the hunter was.
The way the ordinance is written the person engaged in the activity gets the ticket. I guess the town has the power if they wanted to to change the ordinance to also charge the owner, or “promoter” of the activity.