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Residents worried about safety with new hunting grounds - KOAM TV 7

Residents worried about safety with new hunting grounds in Bourbon County

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Debate over new hunting spaces in Bourbon County, Kansas are causing controversy over public safety.

The city of Fort Scott, Kansas now allows hunters to do what they love best on city owned property in Bourbon County.

The Fort Scott city commissioners approved a 15 year lease worth roughly $54,000 with the Kansas Department of Wildlife spanning 609 acres in four different areas surrounding Fort Scott.  However, according to the city commissioners, they can terminate the lease at any time.

"This gives the people who can not afford to rent space to hunt a place to hunt," says Fort Scott City Commissioner Sam Mason.

But some residents who live in the area surrounding one of the designated free hunting areas, near Fort Scott Lake, are having serious doubts about the new partnership between the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Fort Scott.

They are not opposed to hunting.  It's the safety of their families that they're worried about.

"We live there and we have three children, three children that walk to the school bus every morning at 6:45 in the dark along the area where this hunting is allowed and it's dangerous," says Shanda Stewart.  "We want the lake property taken out of this proposal."

Commissioner Mason says the city is planning to continue with the proposed areas, but that the Department of Wildlife promises the safety of Fort Scott residents.

Commissioner Mason says signs have already been placed at three of the four hunting sites and that signs will be placed at the Lake Fort Scott site soon.

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