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Column: Put residents' safety first, recreation second

An archery "club" for Solon Springs -- let's look at a few things. This issue will be decided by the Douglas County Zoning Board, but an age-old question arises. To paraphrase: Which came first -- the families on that block or the Archery Club? B...

An archery "club" for Solon Springs -- let's look at a few things.

This issue will be decided by the Douglas County Zoning Board, but an age-old question arises. To paraphrase: Which came first -- the families on that block or the Archery Club?

Being a resident of Solon Springs but not in that particular area, I can vouch that hunting does get a bit on the "wary" side when it's close to your home. Hunting, of course, by gun or archery, is a legal sport. No one doubts that, but we truly have had "bullets" zip past our house during goose hunting as hunters aim from the lake. It had its moments when my mother with dementia would walk around our house, and I know how it is to tell her not go outside because of the hunting season.

The problem does come down to one very important and very "big" issue. Injuries can occur when you combine lethal ammunition with children running or even pets. When these facilities are located near where people and children do their daily "living", then I do believe that certain extenuating circumstances have to enter into the picture.

In the past two years, we have had more hunters walking our woods even though it is posted. There have been situations in which hunters were shooting across the road, making elderly drivers decide not to go out. I have had my run-ins with the DNR, but this is more a question of priorities. There is just so much land available that is "just out there" -- not near any residences, which would ensure the safety of all concerned.

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It just seems a bit of a no-brainer, as my kids used to say, because when to comes to lives of those not wishing to participate in certain sports, their rights should be taken into consideration. That old adage that your rights stop where the "other guy's nose begins" is as valid today as it was years ago.

No one is "picking" on the archery club -- they are just concerned about what could happen -- even though nothing might. Who will vouch for the possibility when a youngster or even an adult should "forget" and venture out. Come on -- hunting is a sport, but a home is where people want to exist in as much safety as is possible.

I do believe, however, that there should be an ordinance or a law somewhere on the books -- one that puts people first and recreation second. If there isn't any, then the town board should consider it a very valid point and try and find a way to ensure safety to all concerned. Hunting is for just a short time, but a life lost -- well, that is forever.

Just something to think about

Arleen Kaptur can be reached at asnorthwoods@centurytel . net

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