At the request of a Bountiful council member, Davis County commissioners are studying a proposal to limit hunting to areas at least a mile from homes in the foothills and a half-mile in other areas.
Bountiful City Councilwoman Renee Coon asked the commission this week to look at a similar ordinance in Salt Lake County, designed to protect residents from hunters.Bountiful has a similar ordinance in effect, Coon said, but to adequately protect homeowners on the edge of the city, the county also needs a law.
Residents in the eastern foothills of Bountiful registered numerous complaints about deer hunters last fall, Coon said, one family even complaining that a hunter shot a deer in their backyard.
In one instance, a bullet from a deer rifle penetrated the wall of a home, dropping onto a bed where a young girl was sitting. High-powered firearms, such as deer rifles and some handguns, can fire a bullet with enough force to injure a person more than a mile away, Coon said.
State regulations govern the distance hunters can shoot from an inhabited home or cabin, she said, but they are not adequate for fringe residential areas and too often are not enforced because of a lack of personnel.
Coon emphasized she is not disputing the rights of hunters but is trying, as an elected city representative, to look out for the safety and welfare of her constituents. The request is not spurred by any anti-hunting bias, Coon told the commission.
The half-mile zones in the western, flatter part of the county would allow for pheasant and dove hunting in the fall.
If the ordinance is passed and referred to the state by mid-January, Coon said, it will be printed in the state's annual fish and game regulations, as is Salt Lake County's restriction.
The commissioners appeared to be receptive to the suggestion, and County Attorney Mel Wilson said he will study Salt Lake County's ordinance and make a recommendation to the commission.