Opinion: Owners’ land should be respected

This letter regards your front-page article on the coyote hunting conflict in Addison County. I have a lot of sympathy for Katie Rigg as I’ve also been on the receiving end of some threatening behavior by hunters.
My experience was with a couple of duck hunters who told me bluntly that because the land wasn’t posted they could hunt wherever they liked and there was nothing that I could do about it. On another occasion my husband was told by turkey hunters — as they stood right in front of a yellow “Posted” sign — that the land wasn’t properly posted.
In all the research I’ve done it’s apparent that the hunting laws are written solely for the benefit of the hunters without any regard for the landowners. Sorry — I just don’t think that’s right. It would not occur to most people to think they could use my car or my boat without permission — why is using my land any different?
I can’t think of any other place in our society where the concept of ownership is so completely ignored.  I believe it’s time for property owners’ rights to take precedence over hunters’ traditions.
If you would prefer not to litter your land with “Posted” signs I suggest we all lobby the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife. There are Wildlife Public Meetings at the following times and locations:
•  Sunday, March 20, 1-5 p.m., Kehoe Conservation Camp, 636 Point of Pines Road, Castleton;
•  Wednesday, March 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lake Region Union High School, 317 Lake Region Road, Orleans;
•  Saturday, March 26, 1-5 p.m., Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier.
You can also email [email protected] or write to Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 1 National Life Drive, Davis 2, Montpelier, VT 05602.
Melody Hutchings

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