Frisco homeowners urged to be on alert for suburban hunters

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on August 22, 2013 at 4:23 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 22 at 4:23 AM

FRISCO — A Frisco man called 911 for help as hunters fired shots too close to his home.

"I've got guys in here shooting shotguns in an open field and now they're starting to hit my house," said the caller.

It's a problem in Frisco that was first tackled by state lawmakers in 2009. But as the area grows, so does the concern.

Some hunting areas are not far from residential areas. That’s why police are educating people about some restrictions in place.

It happens every September, when dove season starts in Texas. It can sound like a gun battle, with birdshot sometimes landing where it shouldn't.

"I would be concerned, too, if I was a resident and I see somebody walking with a shotgun real close to my house or hear shots fired," said Frisco police spokesman Sgt. Brad Merritt.

Rajesh Ernest lives next to a vacant field where dove hunting is allowed. He is concerned about his family's safety.

"I have two kids, two daughters, like 12 and 8," Ernest said. "They usually play in the back yard, and I don't want all these pellets to be flying around."

Pramode Jampala lives next to the same field. "I fear that someday, they could even break my windows or hurt people," he said.

Dove hunters must have permission from the landowner. The field must be at least 10 acres. The hunters have to stay at least 600 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools.

But with Frisco's fast-paced growth, those areas are shrinking every season.

"There are various areas around the city where you could hunt, but cannot now, based on development, future residential growth and business growth," Sgt. Merritt said. "Frisco's growing so fast, it's just phasing out the hunting areas."

Frisco police say homeowners need to understand that hunting is allowed within the city.

And hunters need to understand, with people living so close, they must practice safety.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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