Some lawmakers in Livingston County want rifles used to hunt bear and deer

Posted at: 05/29/2013 11:33 PM
By: Lynette Adams

Should local hunters be allowed to use rifles more often? That's the debate going on in Livingston County tonight.

Livingston County officials tell us there are certain cases when rifles are allowed to be used. This proposal would allow them to be used more often, when hunting deer and bear.

News10NBC's Lynette Adams went to Livingston County to ask officials why they're considering something that some say could potentially put more people in harm's way.

This proposal is coming from two members of the Livingston County board of supervisors, North Dansville Supervisor Dennis Mahus and Ivan Davis, Portage Supervisor. They are avid sportsmen and see this as a way to enhance the sport. News10NBC talked with Davis at length tonight about the proposal, and some of the concerns.

“Everybody shoots with a rifle year round anyway with coyotes, wood chucks and other varmints anyway, the only thing we're doing is adding bear and deer to it,” said Davis.

“But wouldn't you agree that you'll be hunting a lot more deer than coyotes and some of the other things you use a rifle for?” asked Lynette.

Davis said, “Certainly, but you know in the last few  years more people has went with safety.”

Lynette asked, “If its not causing a lot of problems what's wrong with using a shotgun like you've been doing for years?”

Davis said, “Nothing is wrong with it. Everybody would like to use a rifle. Because as an avid hunter myself, I carry a rifle in my truck all the time.

Lynette then asked, “Say you are 500 feet from a house which is the law. You really can't tell how far that bullet can go and with a rifle it goes much further, almost twice as far as a shotgun correct right?”

Davis answered, “You wouldn't shoot towards a house. Anybody in their right mind wouldn't shoot towards a house. A responsible hunter is going to shoot in the terrain they know is going to stop the bullet.”

But some people like portage resident Phil, who didn't want to use his last name, have a different opinion, and oppose the change.

“There's a lot of people out there who are hunting just for the kill and i completely disagree with that,” said Phil. “I've seen some of these people going out in the woods, there's no way I'd go out there with a shotgun, much less a high powered rifle.”

Two public hearings are scheduled for 6:00pm this coming Monday, June 3rd, and again Saturday June 8th at 9:00am, both are at the Livingston County highway garage in Hampton Corners. That's 4389 Gypsy Lane, in Mount Morris.

The board wants to hear from the community. If the community wants the change the board will ask the state to okay it.