Letters to the Editor 6/11/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Property owners rights clearly spelled out

Dear editor:

I have just read and re-read the guest commentary by Mr. Jeff Taylor. In rebuttal I have the following comments:

Mr. Taylor sates, "A hunter should have the right to hunt in any acceptable manner in which he chooses."

Who gave this right? Is it from the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, or legislation? I find no right to hunt with dogs in any of the above documents. Many laws, rule and regulations control the privilege of hunting. I frequently hear hunters talking about their rights. I hear very little about their responsibilities. What about the rights of landowners to enjoy their property rights. Property rights are clearly detailed in the above documents. The Fifth Amendment makes it very clear that government can "take" property for only certain purposes and after certain procedures have been followed, yet dog hunters can "take" private property for their recreational use with complete impunity.

I also hear the old saw "a few bad hunters make it hard on everyone." According to my experiences over the last 30 years or so, there are considerably more than a "few" who create problems.

What is an "acceptable manner?" Who decides what is acceptable? Why don't those who want to hunt with dogs buy up property and use it as they please?

For the first time in my experience landowners are being heard. We have written letters, attended meetings and complained to anyone who would hear us. Our concerns have largely been ignored by those in places of authority until recently.

No one has unlimited rights. Who has the superior right? A landowner who wants only to be left alone to enjoy his property, or an individual who wants to use another person's property for his own recreation?

Perhaps the above questions will be answered in an appropriate way, at last.

Neal Gresham, Wing