Neighbors concerned about deer hunting

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
-A +A
It’s deer season and the sound of gunfire is in the air. Loomis residents, who live off Laird Road near Sierra de Montserrat, said they were alarmed when the sound of a gunshot disturbed the peace of their quiet Sunday evening on Sept. 26. Greg White, who lives on Wishing Well Way, said he heard a loud shot Sunday evening. “I heard one shot. I saw two fawns run away,” said White. He said he then saw two males come onto his property and drag a dead deer away. “They jumped my fence. That’s not cool. I don’t appreciate a couple of kids taking shots at my property. My horses are down there and there were golfers on the course.” White’s pasture, where his two horses graze, was just yards away from where the deer died. Indian Creek Country Club golf course hole No. 6 was also just yards from the site. White said he called the Placer County Sheriff's Office, but it turns out the shooting was all perfectly legal and no laws were broken. According to Dena Erwin, public information officer with the Sheriff’s Department, “The man and his son who shot the deer were legally able to shoot the buck on their property.” “Loomis is still rural,” said Patrol Captain Mark Lucero, of the California Department of Fish and Game. Lucero explained there are numerous large parcel properties in Loomis where people can lawfully hunt, on their own property or with the owner’s permission. However, he said, they cannot shoot within 150 yards of an occupied residence, and they have to be cognizant of their line of fire so they are not endangering neighbors or livestock or pets. Lucero said the hunters had the right to hunt on the property where the deer was shot, had the proper deer tag and the shooting of the buck was subsequently validated by local Fish and Game Warden Mark Jeter. Lucero did say the hunter should have contacted the neighbor to request permission to go onto his property to retrieve the deer. According to Lucero, other hunting is allowed in the area, including quail, turkey, waterfowl and pheasant. Renee Barnett, 19, lives on the property where the deer died. “I saw them dragging the deer off by its legs,” Barnett said. Barnett said the deer that frequent the area are practically tame and are like pets. She said two fawns and their mother are frequently seen on her property. Linda Siegel, who owns a horse ranch near the site of the deer killing, said, “Shooting in a neighborhood with joggers, small children, horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, cats and other pets, is a threat to all of us who live in the area.” “We’re deeply concerned about the continued shooting in our area of Loomis. Hunting belongs in areas that are designated for this purpose in areas that are miles away from residences.” John Shank, golf course foreman at Indian Creek, said he thought it was “terrible” that hunters were firing guns next to the golf course. “I’m out there, they could have hit me instead of a deer. The deer out here don’t run from us, not even the bucks,” Shank said. Earl Cross, of Auburn, who frequently golfs at the course, said he has never heard any gunshots while golfing. He said the deer killing concerns him because of the proximity to the course. “It should concern everyone. It’s dangerous,” Cross said. -------------------- DEER HUNTING LAWS Loomis: It is illegal to hunt or discharge firearms within a Loomis city park, otherwise, all Fish and Game regulations apply. CA Department of Fish and Game: Must have a deer tag to hunt; may only take a buck with forked antlers; no discharging a deadly weapon within 150 yards of a building; no hunting on private property without prior, written permission; season begins on the fourth Saturday in September (Sept. 25, 2010) and extends for 37 consecutive days (until Sunday, Oct. 31). Junior Hunt: Youth, ages 12 to 17, must be accompanied by an adult chaperone, age 18 and older; can hunt bucks or does; only archery equipment, crossbows or shotguns can be used. Penalty for violations: Misdemeanor crime; up to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail; for juveniles it is at the discretion of a judge Source: California Department of Fish and Game, Town of Loomis