Wildlife board reviews weapons restrictions
The Churchill County Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife met Tuesday to discuss the comments and concerns that came from residents at a special meeting on Jan. 21 regarding the firearm limitations in the Stillwater District and the Lahontan Valley.
The board allowed for some final public comments before members made their final decision. A few concerned residents pleaded with the board.
Wes McWethy said two concerns came to mind: One is the cross breeding of the wolves and the coyotes that has been taking place, making them larger and more aggressive, and they are moving closer and closer to the area.
“I shutter to think if one of these packs finds a small child, it won’t be pretty,” McWethy said. “And then it will be a knee jerk reaction, ‘oh gee, maybe we shouldn’t of restricted the use of centerfire weapons (centerfire is set off from the center of the cartridge) in this area.’”
McWethy added he doesn’t know how else the county will be able to control the coyote population without center fire weapons.
Lester de Braga, a Stillwater rancher, said residents control coyotes with shotguns.
“Many of the comments made on the 21st were gun rights,” de Braga said. “But nothing was really addressed about property rights. As far as the posting of our properties, we heard a lot of comments about just posting your property, but I have yet to see a sign stop a bullet or a stray bullet.”
Christine and Cliff Newmeyer said opinions from the Stillwater group and concerns do not represent all of the residents who live around there.
“To what Mr. de Braga just said about bullets and stray bullets,” Christine Newmeyer said, “well, you can’t litigate against stupid. The people that are going to be shooting into your properties or towards your home and breaking laws … well another law is not going to stop that.”
Cliff Newmeyer said, speaking from experience, it is difficult to sneak up on a deer less than 75 feet away and if shotguns are used, it would just wound the deer. He said if the ordinance is enacted, the county is cutting out the hunting season for residents who have disabilities and can’t stalk their prey.
The Churchill County Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife approved not to submit a petition to the Board of Wildlife Commissioners to implement additional deer hunting or weapon restrictions within management area 18.