Town officials have been reached out to the state Attorney General’s office about the bow hunting issue that sparked controversy in the Walden Trace subdivision in Lancaster recently.
Town Attorney Kevin E. Loftus said at the latest town board meeting that town officials have sought input from the AG’s office since not much feedback has been received from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
At issue is a 50-foot-wide strip of land on the paper street known as Mohawk Trail that a Buffalo man owns and uses for longbow hunting. The hunter, Sean Petronsky, is within his legal rights after the state recently shortened the allowable distance to discharge a longbow from residences from 500 feet to 150 feet. But many neighbors are upset about safety concerns since some say their property lines directly touch the edge of the hunter’s land. However, the hunter has disputed that.
The town had considered enacting a local law to restrict longbow hunting to 500 feet as the allowable discharge distance in different residential areas of the community. But the Town Board has since held off doing anything following a public hearing was held last month while it researches the issue further.
“I can only say right now that we are working on it,” Supervisor Johanna M. Coleman said.
One of the neighbors opposed to the hunting on that tract of land said that two property owners recently posted their property so the hunter can no longer trespass to get onto his land. “We want to make sure our backyards are safe,” said Jamie Johnson of Trentwood Trail, a concerned resident and parent, noting she, too, is a taxpayer. “I don’t need one more thing to worry about as a parent.”
Johnson said that neighbors are concerned that animals that are shot would end up traveling a bit before collapsing on residents’ yards.
“I’m still open to how to solve the problem,” Councilman Matthew Walter said.
Walter said he understands concerns about shot deer running onto neighbors’ yards and the hunter trying to retrieve dead carcass from backyards. “I don’t want to see some sort of turf war” between property owners, he said. “We need to figure out what is best for this community as well as the landowner.”
Bow hunter Scott Summerville defended bow hunters as “some of the most seasoned hunters you’ll find in the woods.”
“I don’t want to see Lancaster spend frivolous money on lawsuits when we already have guidelines from the state,” Summerville said.
• The Village Board meets in a work sesssion 6 p.m. Monday to discuss the rat problem in the community in the Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway.