‘Justice Has Been Done’: Hunt Critic

An Island County, Wash., judge upheld a decision that basically bans public waterfowl hunting on a Whidbey Island lagoon, a local newspaper is reporting this week.

In October, county commissioners voted to bar shooting at Deer Lagoon, on the island’s southwest side where hunts have taken place for years, but the move was appealed in November by the Washington Waterfowl Association.

The case was heard in Island County Superior Court on Dec. 31. In dismissing the appeal, Judge Alan Hancock explained, “There is a safety risk to one degree or another,” and he noted the appeal came over a week after a filing deadline, according to Justin Burnett of the Whidbey Examiner.

WWA lawyer John Arrabito says the county has basically created a private shooting preserve for people who own property bordering the now publicly owned 374-acre marsh, according to the reporter.

Arrabito also contended that the ban was arbitrarily based on public testimony, not on “hard evidence such as injury reports or ballistic testing that would have determined the distance the pellets in shotgun shells can travel and still be lethal,” Burnett writes.

A local hunting critic was “thrilled” with the judge’s decision and claimed that he and his wife felt “like justice has finally been done.”

Whatever that means.

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