On Nov. 19 at sunrise, deer season opened in Western New York. At approximately 7:50, our children left the safety of their home to wait outside for the school bus. While our children were waiting, they stood in the midst of what we could call a war zone. Within 10 minutes this is what occurred:
A pickup full of hunters stopped, let a man out and continued on down the road; between 10-15 rounds of ammunition were fired; shots were being fired between our houses, no more than 100 yards apart.
Can you imagine what those children felt as that truck stopped, no more than 15 yards from where they were standing and a man with a gun jumps out of the back and walks into the field between our homes?
In the 1989-90 school year in the Pioneer school district, classes were not held in the first week of deer season. We know for a fact that the attendance in the high school is the lowest on opening day. It does not affect the elementary schools but these are the kids most affected by what they see around them.
We do not want hunting taken away from the sportsmen. Most of the local hunters are hunting for food for their table. These are also the men and women who know that their children are out there and vulnerable to the outsiders and their irresponsible hunting practices that they bring with them in their pursuit of the big one.
Under general hunting regulations, it is unlawful to carry or possess a firearm on or in a motor vehicle unless the chamber and magazine are unloaded. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 500 yards of a dwelling. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm so that the load shall pass over a publicly maintained highway.
Driving up and down rural roads with guns loaded and waiting (road hunters) is not only irresponsible but is against the law. Our children would be safer in our homes than on our roads on the opening day of the season.
Let's have some precautions taken before this parent's nightmare comes true.
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