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WA - four illegal elk hunters

Hunting zones disputed

John Langeler / KXLY4 Anchor / Reporter
October 28th, 2007

NEWMAN LAKE, WA -- Some neighbors are demanding changes to county regulations after gunshots rang throughout one residential community Sunday morning.

Four hunters were cited on Sunday after shooting an elk in a no-shooting zone. The shots were fired in a pasture south of Newman Lake, near the Idaho state line.

The incident happened within range of homes along Moffitt Road, and a few feet from a legal shooting area.
Law enforcement ended up putting the elk down, but the deputy was injured by the rifle's recoil.

Homeowners say the incident is a sign that county officials need to change where people can and can't shoot.

Zones are set aside across the area where you can't use firearms, and Sunday's shooting was in one of these areas. However, across the street is a shooting zone, despite the presence of several houses.

State fish and wildlife says they often get calls on trespassers this time of year, although most hunters follow the law.

"It's just a few people that we have issues with and we get calls from landowners on trespassing. Yes, we get a lot of calls and so does the sheriff's office." Sgt. Dan Rahn of Washington Fish and Wildlife said.

Officials say it's important for sportsmen to know where they're allowed to hunt. Meanwhile, homeowners are concerned that with growth in the area, remote areas are becoming more populated, and more dangerous.

"Whether it's legal to shoot out here or not, anybody with common sense would know better than shooting even a 22 out here," homeowner Dennis Stoeser said.

Residents here say the county needs to look at what the shooting and non-shooting zones are, and in the meantime, the hunters were allowed to keep the elk.

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