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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2006

Illegal fowl hunting spotted near Bellevue mall

Tuesday, 01/31/06

By CHRISTIAN BOTTORFF

Staff Writer

As waterfowl hunting season ended yesterday in Tennessee, law enforcement officials were searching for a hunter they say was illegally hunting Canada geese in an urban area near Bellevue Center.

The search took place after someone called 911 at 7 a.m. yesterday to report that a man dressed in camouflage was shooting a gun near the mall.

Metro police officers responded and found six to 10 dead geese floating in a pond, said Don Aaron, police spokesman. That many geese would have surpassed a hunter's daily limit.

"You can't fire weapons in urban areas," Aaron said. "It is an urban area. Certainly there are places in Davidson County that are extensively wooded. There also are large open fields in Davidson County. I would refer to that area in Bellevue at the movie theater as an urban area."

When officers arrived, the hunter ran through a wooded area behind the Regal Bellevue Cinema 12, Aaron said. Officers found his shotgun wrapped in camouflage clothing, but the hunter was not located.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency authorities also are investigating, Aaron said.

The hunter could face charges of reckless endangerment for shooting a gun near the mall, Aaron said. Other charges could be pending for violating hunting laws, Aaron said.

Yesterday was the last day for hunting the Canada goose throughout most of Tennessee. The bag limit per hunter is two per day. During waterfowl hunting season, several permits and state hunting licenses are required. Federal laws also require waterfowl hunters to buy a special stamp that permits goose hunting.

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