ODNR officials draw 50 to Pataskala meeting
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 7:52 PM
By LORI WINCE
ThisWeek Staff Writer
Nearly 50 people met with Pataskala officials and members of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife on Monday to talk about hunting within the city limits.
The city currently allows hunting in what are referred to as discharge zones - areas where firearms may be discharged during hunting season. Some residents have said they are concerned about hunters getting too close to homes, and two slugs actually struck area homes during the 2008 deer-hunting season.
Wildlife officials said the city needs to control the population of deer and geese, and the best way to control their populations is to allow hunting on specific properties.
Some residents, however, want further restrictions put on hunters.
Members of the newly formed Pataskala Sportsmen group said they are willing to work with city officials to educate people about hunting and to report people who violate hunting laws.
Bill Bullard, the Licking County wildlife officer, told the group's members they could help by being good witnesses and by knowing the laws.
Merissa McKinstry, a member of Pataskala City Council who serves on the agriculture committee, said the committee is expected to continue reviewing the discharge zones. She said she's not against hunting, but she wants people who don't want hunting on their properties to feel safe.
"We need to make a common-sense decision that will benefit the city," she said.
The agriculture committee's next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, at Pataskala City Hall, 196 E. Broad St.
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