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CASH Courier > 2004 Spring Issue

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The C.A.S.H. Courier

HUNTERS BAG HEADBOARD WITH SHOTGUN SLUG MISSING KILLING FAMILY MEMBERS BY TWO HOURS

Southeast Hunting questioned after bullet hits house

By TERRY CORCORAN

THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: December 7, 2003)

SOUTHEAST — Although deer-hunting season ends Tuesday, a recent incident in which a house was struck by a hunter's slug highlights a growing problem in a rural county where shotgun hunting is allowed as more and more land is being developed.

One day after David Skelton heard a noise upstairs in his Rockledge Drive home, his wife noticed wallboard dust on the carpeting in a guest bedroom.

"I looked around, and I found a large hole in the wall behind the headboard of the bed," Gina Skelton said. "I could see daylight through the hole."

She walked behind their two-story house and saw a hole in the vinyl siding, then went back upstairs and pushed the bed away from the wall. That's when she saw a 20-gauge shotgun slug on the floor. It struck a bed where, hours earlier, her mother and grandmother had slept.

It's gotten so bad in the Skeltons' neighborhood off Dingle Ridge Road that few parents let their children play outside during shotgun deer-hunting season, which started Nov. 17.

"It's like playing Russian roulette," said Rockledge Drive resident Brian Felton, 40, who has two children and whose shed was hit last year. "Eventually, someone's going to get shot."

"I won't let the kids or the dog out during hunting season, and I'm afraid to walk into the woods myself," said Orser, the father of four. "Hunters trespass through the back yard. Last year, someone got a deer, dragged it behind my garage, chopped the head off and left the carcass there."

Orser said he's confronted hunters, but that they usually dismiss him. He's also called police, but said he's found no satisfaction there.

Skelton, 41, said she's hoping the hunting will stop now that a corporation has acquired the land. She said a Manhattan attorney affiliated with the corporation was upset to hear of her predicament and said no one had permission to hunt. A drive last week on Nichols Road, which has more dirt than pavement, showed no-hunting signs posted roughly every 25 feet.

"Somebody is going to get killed," she said. "It was only by the grace of God that no one was in that bed when that bullet came through my house and slammed into that headboard. One of the reasons we moved up here was to not deal with urban issues like bullets hitting your home."

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

C.A.S.H. sent in a letter and 18 pages of summarized hunting accidents sorted by various field such as “location,” “age,” etc. to all of the town board in support of Ms. Skelton’s attempt to stop hunting.

[Editor’s note: Taxes on firearms used in cities contribute to the “Conservation Fund” and are used to promote more hunting outside of the cities. People who are fighting current gun laws must begin to see hunting’s connection. The Pittman-Robertson Act and the promotion of hunting by wildlife management agencies must be seen as serious impediments to their cause of eliminating urban gun violence.]

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