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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/5/2005 4:27:26 AM EDT
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/2692888p-9129653c.html

By JOSH SHAFFER, Staff Writer

RALEIGH -- Jason Williams keeps his gun -- a .22-caliber squirrel-killer with a scope -- propped by the sink.

He bags the varmints as they raid his pear tree and chomp his fig bush in his woodsy back yard a few blocks from Crabtree Valley Mall. It's a family practice going back decades.

But newer neighbors do not cotton to Williams' squirrel hunts. In a single July week, they called police three times.

"As it stands, I have fired four rounds, killed four squirrels and been visited by four police officers," said Williams, who is 41. "The first time, they SWAT-deployed. This is silly."

PERMIT RULES

Permits such as Williams' require:

* Applicants to be 21.

* Shooting in daytime, weekday hours.

* Staying at least 150 feet from a park or school.

* Regard for property and safety.

* Nothing bigger than a .22-caliber rifle loaded with "rat shot."

SOURCE: RALEIGH POLICE DEPARTMENT

Hunting squirrels, rats and pigeons is perfectly legal in Raleigh yards, provided you get a 90-day permit such as the one Williams keeps taped to his front door.

The law dates to at least 1959, when Williams' Brookhaven neighborhood was outside city limits and the nearby mall was a cow pasture.

Granting special permits was a nod to people who thought they had a "plethora of pests," City Attorney Thomas McCormick said.

Times and neighborhoods have changed. Brookhaven might still be quiet and wooded, the sort of place where families spend eight or nine years and still are considered "new-ish."

But residents note that 80-plus townhouses are going up nearby, and Glenwood Avenue is one of the busiest streets in Raleigh.

"It certainly is far from rural," said Bee Weddington, who lives in the neighborhood. "I hate the squirrels, too, but I don't like guns. I'm not one of those crusaders, but there's always a chance you could harm some animal who's a pet, or a person, or a child."

Weddington, who is not one of the neighborhood complainers, said legalized squirrel hunting surprised her. Only nine people have the permits citywide.

Williams, though, has a stack of permits dating back to the 1980s, when Brookhaven was annexed. When neighbors called the police, he sent them copies by registered mail.

The squeamishness about guns bothers him. By city law, he can use no rifle larger than a .22-caliber, and he must use "rat shot," which will travel only about 25 feet.

"You could shoot your buddy in the [behind] with one, and it would feel like a mosquito -- if it cut through your pants," he said.

A forestry consultant, Williams has been hunting since age 5. He keeps his guns in a safe -- including the rifle, when not actively pursuing varmints.

He aims for animals on tree trunks so the round will strike the bark if it misses the squirrel.

And rat shot, he says while demonstrating, can be fired from his rifle only one round at a time.

"You're not going to be bursting out in the back yard going, 'Bam, bam, bam, bam. Oh, sorry, Bob. I hit your head.' It's just impossible," he said.

So far this year, squirrels have torn through hundreds of pears he had been planning to can, scattering the rotten fruit across his yard.

He tried putting out deer corn for them, but they ate through a garbage can to get to a larger supply. He tried nonlethal, have-a-heart traps, but he couldn't catch them.

If neighbors would ask, Williams said, he could show them that his hunting is responsible and safe.

"Yankees," said his girlfriend, Dawn Wiggins. "This isn't Brooklyn. We're not popping people over here. One he fired, I was sitting in the house, and I never even heard it."

The last time police visited, Williams said, the senior officer shook his head and walked away, cursing wasted time.

Williams feels for the police. There are criminals to catch, he said. Leave the varmints to him.

(Staff researcher Becky Ogburn contributed to this report.)

Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:28:07 AM EDT
Should be "Pest Hunter finds Yankee scum neighbors a pest"
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:34:39 AM EDT
I don't know. I think the neighbors have every right to voiuce there objection. Its not like they returned fire or set his house ablaze. If I heard gunfire in my neighborhood, even if I thought it was a .22 I'd still call the police.

Granted the neighbor hood used to be more rural, but if he still gets the permits then let'em hunt. If the neighbors have a such problem, they should attend a town hall meeting or whatever to get it changed. Based on the stroy I read here, it does'nt seem like this man is a moron, I'm sure he would stop if he really thought it was to crowded an area.

At least I would hope so.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:35:57 AM EDT
That is a well written article that makes the neighbors look like asses.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:38:44 AM EDT
That is the reason why everyone should have a silencer
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:41:06 AM EDT



"Yankees," said his girlfriend, Dawn Wiggins. "This isn't Brooklyn. We're not popping people over here.




We wind up saying this every year.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:41:23 AM EDT
I can understand not wanting a .22 being fired in a tight subdivision-like neighborhood, but if they don't like it, they need to change the law.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:43:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Leisure_Shoot:
That is a well written article that makes the neighbors look like asses.



+1
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:44:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SemperParatusEmt:
I don't know. I think the neighbors have every right to voiuce there objection. Its not like they returned fire or set his house ablaze. If I heard gunfire in my neighborhood, even if I thought it was a .22 I'd still call the police.

Granted the neighbor hood used to be more rural, but if he still gets the permits then let'em hunt. If the neighbors have a such problem, they should attend a town hall meeting or whatever to get it changed. Based on the stroy I read here, it does'nt seem like this man is a moron, I'm sure he would stop if he really thought it was to crowded an area.

At least I would hope so.



What pisses me off is people who show up and think that they can stop you from doing what you have always done safely because it makes them uncomfortable.

If they don't like it, they can MOVE.

He was there first.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:46:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
That is the reason why everyone should have a silencer



No kidding. There is a groundhog the size of Godzilla in the back yard, and I can't do sh*t about it. There are also a plethora of birds crapping all over everything. And rabbits eating up my garden. If I had a supressor these would not be problems.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 4:50:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
That is the reason why everyone should have a silencer



No kidding. There is a groundhog the size of Godzilla in the back yard, and I can't do sh*t about it. There are also a plethora of birds crapping all over everything. And rabbits eating up my garden. If I had a supressor these would not be problems.



He has to use rat shot, dont think a silencer would work with rat shot or would it?
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 5:03:00 AM EDT
Air rifle or super Colibri ammo would probably "silence" the problem.

Wake county has become quite liberal, gunz are evil and all that, you know.
Link Posted: 8/5/2005 5:13:15 AM EDT
If the city continues to issue Mr. Williams the permits, I don't think the neighbors have a leg to stand on.

If the neighbors don't like the hunting of pests, get the permit laws taken off the books. Good luck neighbors. Laws are hard to change.

Thumbs up for Mr. Williams. Blast away.

Colt_SBR
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