Hearing on Deer Lagoon hunting ban is tonight

Island County commissioners will hold a public hearing tonight on a new proposal to ban all hunting at Deer Lagoon.

The hearing is 6 p.m. at Freeland Hall.

Previously, commissioners had considered creating a 230-yard no-shoot zone around the edge of Deer Lagoon, a popular area for hunting waterfowl. That would have allowed hunting in 25 acres in the middle of the county’s 379-acre property.

At a previous public hearing on shooting restrictions at Deer Lagoon, nearby residents complained about gun noise and said the no-shoot zone would be unenforceable.

Since the Sept. 21 hearing, residents near Deer Lagoon have continued to lobby the county to ban hunting at the lagoon, according to letters submitted to the county since the meeting.

“Kids and dogs play in and around the lagoon, on our property, and sometimes beyond,” wrote Charlie Nordstrom, a property owner on Shore Avenue. “It is an incredibly idyllic place for us and our kids to explore and enjoy. That we should be exposed to mortal danger in the process is bewildering.”

Others, however, asked the county to maintain a balance and keep part of the area open to hunting.

Sally Mulcahy of Clinton said it seemed commissioners had already made up their minds to ban hunting, before the last hearing.

“It is the commissioners’ duty to maintain the safety and quality of life for all residents of Island County, not just the anti-hunters with the loudest voices and the squeakiest wheel,” she wrote. “I was disappointed the commissioners barely discussed the merits of the proposal, but rather were intent on eliminating hunting altogether.”

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