Raleigh varmint hunter spooks neighbors


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Drizzt
August 5, 2005, 06:03 PM
Raleigh varmint hunter spooks neighbors

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Jason Williams keeps his gun a .22-caliber squirrel-killer with a scope propped by the sink.

He bags the varmints as they raid his pear tree and chomp his fig bush in his woodsy backyard just blocks from Crabtree Valley Mall. It's a family practice going back decades.

But newer neighbors do not cotton to Williams squirrel hunts. In a single July week, they called police three times.

"As it stands, I have fired four rounds, killed four squirrels and been visited by four police officers," said Williams, who is 41. "The first time, they SWAT-deployed. This is silly."

Hunting squirrels, rats and pigeons is perfectly legal in Raleigh yards provided you get a 90-day permit like the one Williams keeps taped to his front door.

The law dates to at least 1959, when Williams' Brookhaven neighborhood was outside city limits and the nearby mall was a cow pasture.

Granting special permits was a nod to people who thought they had a "plethora of pests," said City Attorney Thomas McCormick.

Times and neighborhoods have changed. Brookhaven might still be quiet and wooded, the sort of place where families spend eight or nine years and still are considered "new-ish."

But residents note that 80-plus townhouses are going up nearby, and Glenwood Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Raleigh.

"It certainly is far from rural," said Bee Weddington, who lives in the neighborhood. "I hate the squirrels, too, but I don't like guns. I'm not one of those crusaders, but there's always a chance you could harm some animal who's a pet, or a person, or a child."

Weddington, who is not one the neighborhood complainers, said legalized squirrel hunting surprised her. Only nine people have the permits citywide.

Williams, though, has a stack of permits dating back to the 1980s, when Brookhaven was annexed. When neighbors called the police, he sent them copies by registered mail.

The squeamishness about guns bothers him. By city law, he can use no rifle larger than a .22-caliber, and he must use rat shot, which will travel only about 25 feet.

"You could shoot your buddy in the (behind) with one and it would feel like a mosquito if it cut through your pants," he said.

A forestry consultant, Williams has been hunting since age 5. He keeps his guns in a safe including the rifle, when not actively pursuing varmints. He aims for animals on tree trunks so the round will strikes the bark if it misses the squirrel.

And rat shot, he says while demonstrating, can be fired from his rifle only one round at a time.

"You're not going to be bursting out in the back yard going 'Bam, bam, bam, bam. Oh, sorry Bob. I hit your head.' It's just impossible," he said.

So far this year, squirrels have torn through hundreds of pears he had been planning to can, scattering the rotten fruit across his yard.

He tried putting out deer corn for them, but they ate through a garbage can to get to a larger supply. He tried non-lethal have-a-heart traps, but he couldn't catch them.

If neighbors would ask, Williams said, he could show them that his hunting is responsible and safe.

"Yankees," said his girlfriend, Dawn Wiggins. "This isn't Brooklyn. Were not popping people over here. One he fired, I was sitting in the house, and I never even heard it."

The last time police visited, Williams said, the senior officer shook his head and walked away, cursing wasted time.

Williams feels for the police. There are criminals to catch, he said. Leave the varmints to him.

http://beta.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050805/NEWSREC0101/50805013

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RoyG
August 5, 2005, 08:14 PM
just blocks from Crabtree Valley Mall

Explains a lot.

Cyanide_357
August 5, 2005, 08:15 PM
Thats why I plan on buying land way out in the country... where I don't have to deal with "neighbors"... (I mean way out in the country.. where it is still rural when I'm old and senile)... I can't stand the idea of the new commers trying to make me stop doing things on my own land. (I'm 20)

I'll have my burm setup and if they complain... screw them... I'll give them a pair of ear plugs. It isn't like I'm going to be shooting early or late in the day. Nothing is going to be hitting them.. and all they're dealing with is sound.

Heck.. hopefully I'll be in a situation where I can say... "Oh, I'm sorry.. I'll just put my silencer on it." But if they are real anoying... I'll start shooting a machine gun (also.. hopefully i have one).

This also implies that we still live in a 'free' society/country.

Cyanide

DeseoUnTaco
August 5, 2005, 08:18 PM
In some parts of Europe it's considered a courtesy to use a sound supressor ("silencer") in situations like this. Or he could switch to a pellet gun.

beerslurpy
August 5, 2005, 09:28 PM
Maybe its time he hunted pests with a 7mm rem mag at 4:30am. Nothing like the roar of a belted magnum and a rain of gristly chunks to share the joy of hunting with your ??????? neighbors. Best of all, he could effortlessly hit a squirrel at 200 yards, so even the squirrels at the mall wouldnt be off limits.

Standing Wolf
August 5, 2005, 09:35 PM
As it stands, I have fired four rounds, killed four squirrels and been visited by four police officers...

I'm beginning to detect a pattern.

SMMAssociates
August 6, 2005, 12:42 AM
Damned if I can remember where I read it, but I heard about a guy who was bitching about rounds from a neighboring range landing on his property.

He showed the news media (or whoever) several "ready to use" cartridges.... :fire:

Whooops....

Waitone
August 6, 2005, 09:23 AM
Didja notice how politically correct the guy was. This guy has done everything possible to make it safe and shut the blissninnies up EXCEPT quit.

If neighbors object to a .22, a nice, deep-throated 12 mag should liven things up. Do a number on the squirrels also.

VARifleman
August 6, 2005, 09:30 AM
In some parts of Europe it's considered a courtesy to use a sound supressor ("silencer") in situations like this. Or he could switch to a pellet gun.
The permit only allows you to use rat shot .22

Thanks for reading... :scrutiny:

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