Several Lancaster residents Monday asked the Town Board to ban hunting in a narrow strip of woods behind their homes after a deer slug from a shotgun pierced a Queens Way family's home Nov. 28.
The homeowner, Lauri Bracci, expressed surprise that hunting would be taking place so close to a residential area, since the state bars hunting within 500 feet of any residence. However, Bracci said she was later informed by state Department of Environmental Conservation officials that hunting was apparently legal on a small strip of land inside those woods and that it was incumbent upon the town to change the law.
"We were told by a lot of people that they can hunt back there, but we would like to change that. That's all we want to do," Bracci told the Town Board on Monday.
Town Attorney Richard J. Sherwood, however, insisted that state officials and others are misinformed.
"There's a suggestion that there's a narrow area there that you can hunt, but we don't believe that to be the case. Our engineer is going to plot everything out on an aerial [map] so that when we meet with [DEC officials], we can show them that there's no area there that's outside of the 500-foot area," Sherwood said.
Sherwood said areas within the woods have been posted, warning hunters and others not to trespass. Those areas were posted after Dec. 4, when Bracci and other homeowners neighboring those woods off Penora Street first approached the Town Board.
Two young men, whose identities were not revealed during Monday's meeting, were reportedly arrested and charged by DEC officials after the shooting.
Bracci said the shooting occurred at about 5 p.m., not far from where children were still playing outside. She said the deer slug penetrated siding of her house before landing on the floor of an upstairs bedroom.
Sherwood said town officials would continue to meet with state environmental officials in an attempt to unambiguously establish that there is no area in those woods where hunting is legal.
"Certainly," Sherwood said, "the board is concerned about what happened and doesn't want a repeat of that."