Duck Hunting Along Kingsville's Shoreline Causing Debate

Residents along Kingsville's shoreline are speaking out against duck hunting in the area.

Bill Parr is heading up the group which has concerns over safety and noise as hunters have been setting up their blinds in the water behind residential developments.

Parr says this wasn't a problem 25 years ago, but with homes going up along the waterfront regulations need to change.

He says, while the hunters aren't technically breaking any rules, the shotgun blasts are enough to wake you up.

"I'm retired. I don't like to get up early in the morning. I don't like to get up if it's dark out, but they blast very early. I'm not saying they're blasting in the dark, but it's just barely light and you can't help but hear it. It's disturbing and it goes on all day and through the evening too."

Parr adds, he hopes there can be a compromise.

"First of all, I want to say I'm not opposed to hunting. I support the hunters. What I'm against is the location of the hunting blinds in a residential/recreational area that is still developing. There's a high volume of traffic close to the lake always. We just think there are better areas for the hunters to erect their blinds where they're not endangering anybody and they can still enjoy their activities."

Jim Ellis has been hunting in the area for more than 40 years and says the majority of hunters follow the rules, but there's always a few bad apples.

He says if he sees anyone out of line, he let's them know.

"I've come up face to face with them and I tell them because I know where the boundary lines are and we just try to do things right out there. We don't shoot into shore. Everybody abides by the rules. If they don't, you're not hunting out there."

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A packed house at Kingsville Council to discuss hunting boundaries along the town's shoreline (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

Ellis says the hunters he associates with do everything they can to be courteous to homeowners.

"I've already been talking to a couple of the people that live off of Division Road this year and their concerns are mostly about the kids on the beach and on the stones. I've told them we don't shoot inshore and I said you don't have to be worried about that."

Ellis adds, they try to police their own group the best they can.

"I've been hunting out there for 42 years and this is the worst I've seen it from the residential people and that's because the people coming in that don't hunt all the time. The guys that do come in, there's a couple guys that, I know for a fact, I've told to get out."

Kingsville Council has agreed to look into the issue and bring it back for debate in the next couple of months.

But Mayor Nelson Santos says, with hunting and fishing regulated by the Ministry of Natural Resources, there's not a lot the town can do to change the current rules.