Errant bullets whizzing by upset rural residents south of Calgary

Residents in parts of the Municipal District of Foothills are tired of dodging bullets.

M.D. of Foothills officials calling for changes to hunting and shooting regulations

Residents of the M.D. of Foothills south of Calgary say some hunters have been shooting irresponsibly, creating a dangerous situation. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Residents in parts of the Municipal District of Foothills are growing tired of dodging bullets.

No, their small-town streets have not been overrun by gangs. Instead, they say, some hunters are treating the area like the wild west — shooting from ditches and even across roads at times — which is making people feel unsafe, even in their own backyards.

As a result, officials want regulations around hunting and shooting tightened up.

"Most certainly there's concern for people and domestic animals," Div. 4 Coun. Suzanne Oel told the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday.

"Firing into an elk herd, making them scatter while people are nearby, bullets passing near people who are outside, guns being pointed at residents — so there's a number of stories over the last few years."

Oel's area includes Priddis and Millarville in the northwest corner of the district.

Councillors want 'more of a buffer' zone

Citizen engagement was done in the fall, including holding town hall meetings, and Oel says she and her fellow councillors are now considering writing to the province to request two things.

"One is disallowing hunting from road allowances except with permission of adjoining landowners," she said. "And secondly, to have more of a buffer to discharging weapons near occupied buildings."

Current provincial rules say you can't shoot a gun or cause a bullet pass within 183 metres [200 yards] of an occupied building, unless authorized by the owner or occupant.

"The suggestion is to change that to fence lines rather than the occupied building, which would eliminate hunting from the ditch," said Oel.

"If something was in place like this and it was enforced, that would make it so everybody would be operating on a better level."

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener