Friday, October 22, 2010

ILLINOIS NEWS: Quelling Concerns About Culling Safety

When culls are planned in or near residential areas, residents often raise concerns about safety. This is completely understandable--no one wants bullets flying past their heads while they get their mail, wash their car, or walk the dog. But controlled hunts can be surprisingly safe. Here are some of the safety checks in place for the Will County Forest Preserve culling efforts.
Kiran said the district’s police officers are in training now for the project. To qualify to be Illinois Department of Natural Resources sharpshooters, each must shoot five bullets into a 1.9-inch target from 50 yards.

In the forest preserves, the officers will not fire at targets more than 50 yards away, and they will always shoot downward from stands or by using the terrain. They will also only shoot into the parks at a distance of at least 300 feet from the parks’ boundaries.

Culling would be done at night, when the parks are closed to visitors. Moreover, ballistic ammunition is used to prevent richochets. These bullets disintegrate as soon as they hit any object.

Village President Joe Cook is not convinced (or at least his constituents are not convinced).
Cook says he believes the district should consider shotguns or even bows and use hunters, who know the considerations for safely bringing game down.

“Hunter management works well and safely,” he said, “and you only reach 70 — 80 yards with a bow — a far cry from two to three miles with a high-powered rifle.”

Source: Herald News