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Community members turn out in Sunriver to express their concerns over hunting on federal land

SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone led a community gathering at The Door in Sunriver Tuesday evening, to hear resident concerns about hunting near homes, and to establish first steps in what can be done.

The area in question sits on Forest Service land in South Deschutes County.

Many years ago, Deschutes County instituted 150-yard “no-shooting” zones near subdivisions.

Community members say hunters continue to hunt near residential areas. They say this causes various dangers, including stray bullets hitting homes.

Commissioner DeBone says he understands both sides, keeping communities safe, while preserving the rights of hunters.

“Tonight, was the idea to learn about very specific action items that could be taken," he said. "As I say, I learned about a little bit of the history of this 150-yards zone that was put in place many years ago. Now we can say, okay, well, how did that get there, and can we make it bigger for the purpose?

"Also, the Forest Service obviously took an action item to learn the path, to ask for a either adding a recreation area which would disperse hunting possibly, or make it a no-hunting zone. So we're looking for the action items tonight,” DeBone said.

Hunting on federal ground came under criticism last November. Several upset residents in south Deschutes County said hunters shot and killed three or four elk, one reportedly illegally. It's in an area they consider way too close to many homes, popular recreation areas and Spring River Road.

Commissioner DeBone says he's right in the middle. He encourages community advocates to keep pushing the envelope forward. in order to see tangible action. 

Article Topic Follows: Deschutes County

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Tracee Tuesday

Tracee Tuesday is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Tracee here.


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