Thunder Bay

Residents voice concerns about Thunder Bay deer hunt

As the start of first-ever urban deer hunt in Thunder Bay approaches, some residents are voicing concern about hunters who may trespass on private property.

Public meeting at Confederation College brings out 90 people

As the start of Thunder Bay’s first-ever urban deer hunt approaches, some residents are voicing concern about hunters who may trespass on private property.

During an open house hosted at Thursday evening by the city about the upcoming controlled deer hunt in the city, residents posed questions about hunter safety in tree stands, liability and law enforcement.

Property owner Trudy Tuchenhagen was among the 90 or so people who attended the meeting at Confederation College. She wanted to know how quickly police will respond to trespassing complaints.

Thunder Bay's manager of bylaw enforcement Ron Bourret said hunters want to make sure the hunt goes safely for everyone. (CBC)

"I certainly hope this will be a high priority," she said. "If someone wishes to hunt on our property and we do not give them permission, [I want to know] that the police will take action."

Thunder Bay Police said their response all depends on what else is happening when the call comes in.

Hunters want 'zero incidents'

But Glenn Rivard said it’s up to the hunting community — who pushed for the hunt — to make it work.

"We also want zero incidents," a vice president with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters said. "First of all, no safety concerns, but secondly I don't want land owners upset.  We need to be diligent and police ourselves."

With respect to safety, Rivard said the federation will be holding a seminar on bow hunting early next month.

During the meeting, oficials from the city, Thunder Bay Police and the Ministry of Natural Resources fielded a wide array of questions.

The city's manager of bylaw enforcement said he's pleased with the public's response.

"It's kinda like preach to the converted in the church type of thing," Ron Bourret said.  "These people are the avid hunters … and they are concerned. They want to make sure this goes safe for everybody."

Bourret said city officials will closely monitor the hunt and deal with potential issues as they arise.

The controlled hunt in prescribed areas of the city starts Sept.1.