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Should Bow Hunting Be Allowed in the Landlocked Forest?

Members of the Board of Selectmen stated town to collect information, opinions, and address the issue.

Should bow hunting for deer be allowed in Burlington's Landlocked Forest?

That question was posed to the Board of Selectmen during Monday night's meeting. The board did not make any decision on the question but stated it would create a sub-committee to solicit input from the community and consider the issue.

Chair of the Board Ralph Patuto said the town has bylaws against discharging firearms in Burlington, making hunting with shotguns or rifles de facto outlawed. However, it does not have any specific no-hunting rules, which allows for bow hunting.

Patuto added that hunting in the Landlocked Forest has taken place for decades. To date, the board has been silent on the issue.

There were representatives on both sides of the issue at the meeting, those for and against bow hunting on town owned property.

A representative for those against bow hunting said that though there has not been any reported injuries a single incident would be a sad event and a liability for the town. She said that many people use the forest for walking, hiking and biking, including Boy Scouts who do orienteering, and that hunting could pose a risk for those enjoying other recreational activities.

She also pointed out there are now signs alerting hikers that hunting may be taking place in the forest.

A proponent of bow hunting in the forest said that the chance of injury is low. He said that because bows have much less range than firearms, hunters must get close to the target animal, usually within 20-30 yards, and have a clear view of the deer before releasing an arrow.

He also said that bow hunting would help the town control the deer population.

Selectman Daniel Grattan said he would create the sub-committee to address the question.

Patuto said he was hesitant to outlaw a recreational activity on town land.

"We take property to conserve it," he said. "To prohibit one particular group from using it, especially residents, has to be looked at hard. Equality is the way to go. I’m not in favor of prohibiting recreational use for property that was taken for recreation."

What do you think? Should bow hunting be allowed on town owned land? Let us know in the comments section below.

Carrie November 09, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I too am a Burlington resident. If people were hunting there and no one complained it would have been because it wasn't with permission of the town. I wonder how many townspeople knew we were doing that. Now they say they cleaned it up and put in walking trails so I think we need to be careful about what we allow over there. After all the town is responsible for this land. Anyway I am against this. Sorry.
Northguy November 09, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Even though this issue is related only to bows, isn't there a law prohibiting the discharge of firearms in Burlington? What defines a firearm? Not that I oppose hunting there, they do need to take safety into very careful consideration, seeing that there is a lot of recreational use of the parcel. Hopefully the Selectmen will weigh the potential for injury from hunting against the potential for injury caused by deer darting into the path of cars at speed on Routes 128 and 3 as well as the potential for liability against the Town in either case.
Carrie November 09, 2012 at 07:22 PM
This comes as a surprise to me that we can shoot a bow legally in there? I too am concerned for potential liability to the town should someone get hurt there.
Gerry Powers November 09, 2012 at 11:40 PM
BURLINGTON RESIDENT: SERIOUSLY!!!! JUST ASKING FOR TROUBLE!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111
DAD November 10, 2012 at 12:32 AM
And the off duty police officer shot the woman walking her dogs. He carries a gun for a living !!
Martin Witt November 10, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I believe there is no law against bow hunting in specified areas in town. Every hunter I know only kills for the food not for the thrill of the kill (whatever that is). Arrows have limited range so it should be safe as compared to shooting a rifle or shotgun.
JRTEMT November 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/regulations/plain_language/hunting_archery.htm but that's IF a hunter is following the regulations...no hunting in Massachusetts on Sundays so that's the day for hiking in the Landlocked Forest folks! You also aren't supposed to transfer wildlife that you consider a nuisance but I see folks off loading chipmunks, squirrels, skunks and ground hogs in the parking area often from their 'have a heart' traps. What does the Environmental Police officer have to say about this?
MTBer November 10, 2012 at 06:10 PM
"...as per regulations by the state there is no hunting before sun up or sunset." If this is indeed law it isn't being followed. There is a bow hunter that parks on rte 3 at end of gas line that is in there long before sunrise. A fellow mtn biker came across him one morning and almost had a heart attack. Regardless, I do not agree with allowing this in such a small space. Have you seen the bow/arrow they use these days? Not some old fashioned contraption. These weapons look very sophisticated and def capable of travelling longer ranges.
bur69 November 10, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I can't believe the selectman have to think about this, especially Selectman Patuto a retired police officer. The parcel is being used by so many different adult and children groups. It is not safe to have people walking around with bow and arrows at the same time. I think there should be No Hunting allowed and signs should be posted around the entire parcel. So far is has not been a problem because the land was not used very much. Also, there is chance that someone who is not familiar with the local laws, may think it's OK to hunt with a gun. So if we can hunt there can we hunt at the Reservoir, or at the Vinebrook conservation area, Wildwood park or Simonds Park? In the mean time, if you go there, wear hunter orange!!
MTBer November 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I have already started to wear my hunter orange there while biking. Another question, can we at least say it is 100% illegal to do it on Sundays since there is no hunting in MA on Sundays? Or is bow hunting exempt from that law?
bur69 November 10, 2012 at 11:47 PM
MTBer I would wear hunter Orange even on Sunday and any time around hunting season. I doubt there are any game wardens or Environmental police patrolling the area. I was a hunter along time ago, and the main reason I do not hunt anymore is because all the crazy and dangerous things hunters do.
george shannon November 11, 2012 at 08:33 PM
There are a lot on negitive comments towad hunters in these postings and they are completely unfair. Do some research and get a real understanding about hunting and not just view it as killing animals. As for the LLF, the tow will have to look at every angle as far as use and safety, but if it works out favorably then hunting should be allowed as it is public land. Bow hunting relies on stealth to get close enough to an animal so mistaking a target is beyond rare. Sure there are accidents, but there are accidents in all outdoor activities and hunting is and has been very safe for a long time. I would support hunting in the LLF and in fact I would try it myself if the town moves forward with this. Thanks
george shannon November 11, 2012 at 08:39 PM
You are allowed to be in the woods before sunrise and after sunset. 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 after sunset (times posted in the paper/almanac) are legal shooting times for hunting. That is why you might see hunters parked early in the morning or after sunset.
Burlington Resident November 12, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I'm just stating what the BOS said. This is allowed. These hunters have been there well before this so called LLF group appeared. Now they are trying to say who can and who cannot use the proeprty.
don November 12, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Incorrect. The law says you must have written permission from the selectmen. As they are unwilling to give it (for whatever reason) it is illegal to hunt with a bow in the burlington landlocked forest. The burlington police are happy to be called and remove anyone hunting with a bow.
don November 12, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Fine then get the law to support your view. Otherwise, it is ilegal
don November 12, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Regardless, I have strict rules for my children. If you get the law to say hunt with a bow in burlington land locked forest, then goto. If not then assume everyone else will call the police and have you removed.
don November 12, 2012 at 07:16 PM
No hunting with guns anywhere in burlington, again a simple law. Just call the police and ask.
don November 12, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Oh, I can't wait to sue. But, honestly. One would first sue the hunter (clearly ruining their life) for hunting illegally with a bow. Again, burlington police (and selectmen) were very clear. No hunting without written permission, which they have never given. And the reason they don't give permission is that they somehow think that would protect them from the legal suit against burlington. And perhaps they are right. But certainly the hunters should be scared of the suit. Hell, there were three lawyers and one federal agent on my hike in the woods last week. Granted 2 divorce lawyer's (not much help), but still.
don November 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
There is a public meeting scheduled to discuss the issue of bow hunting in the Landlocked Forest on Wednesday, Nov. 14th at 7 pm in the Main Hearing Room at Burlington Town Hall (2nd floor)
don November 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
There is a public meeting scheduled to discuss the issue of bow hunting in the Landlocked Forest on Wednesday, Nov. 14th at 7 pm in the Main Hearing Room at Burlington Town Hall (2nd floor)
Burlington Resident November 12, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Don- You are saying that it is illegal to bow hunt in the LLF. Says who? Acording to the selectman there are no specific hunting rules, which allows for bow hunting. People have been hunting in there for years well before the LLF group appeared.
Julie November 13, 2012 at 01:43 PM
The law is no discharging of a firearm. Bowgrl
Julie November 13, 2012 at 01:48 PM
You can't restrict just 1 form of recreation; it's either all or nothing!!!!!!
Julie November 13, 2012 at 01:51 PM
A hunter can be in the woods before sun up
Julie November 13, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Yes there is a meeting open to the public on the 14th to discus the issues at hand. There will be no vote on Wednesday night.
marilyn white April 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Long time Resident It sounds like we are missing a great opportunity to offer the residents a citizen and family-oriented place for a beautiful walking park with gardens and granite benches. Lets invite sculptors to display their handiwork. There are all kinds of things we could do better than create a place of destruction and danger for those enjoying a walk in nature's gift to Burlington. Please choose carefully.
John Garber April 27, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I am a Burlington res and I support passing bow hunting there! we need to controller the population of deer and further more we should be allowed to hunt there in the spring for Turkey we need to control the population iam sick of have my truck damage by turkeys as when they see there reflection of them self they attack my vehicle s. STOP BEING ANTI HUNTERS! let us do are part in the community like we done for years! what do you think will happen if we don't control the population car accidents will go up from them running out in the middle of the road what if you or your kids are in that vehicle oh then your gunna want are help aren't you what about when the turkey population goes up more an there chasing you around your house or down the street when your out walking or how bout. When your kids can't go out and play at night because the family of coyote s that are roaming the yard. You ANTI HUNTERS make me sick you people think it's a sport! When we do it to eat and controller the population and make are community safe so are kids can go out and play at night so you can walk your dog at night! Really think about what you people are doing beside of harassing HUNTERS!!! Sooner or later the town will be over run by these animals and we the HUNTERS why would we want to help you then? pass the law and you ANTI HUNTERS common sense would you go for a walk during hunting season without wearing Orange hat or a vest ?No you wouldn't!
Acton Hunter June 26, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Are you kidding me !? Near a hwy with a bow that shoots max 50 yards! Mistake a dog for a deer ? Hunters are well trained enrolling in several government run courses before being awarded the privilege to hunt our own land.Are you kidding me ? Why not allow hunters to hunt on town land we pay the same taxes as you do ! Plus we pay for outdoors cards,hunting licences and tags .Do you purchase a licence,tag or outdoors card to walk on the trails ? Hunting contributes millions into the local economy every year.Are you kidding me ? Seriously ?
Carrie June 26, 2013 at 08:43 PM
I believe the town has decided it is going to allow bow hunting for town residents at certain times and signs will be posted. I guess that's only fair.

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