Shooting near lifestyle blocks a concern

A bullet was found embedded in the deck of a Mosgiel property.
A bullet was found embedded in the deck of a Mosgiel property.
Poachers shooting near lifestyle blocks are a ''recipe for disaster'', police warn.

Taieri residents were urged to report suspicious behaviour following at least three firearms-related incidents in recent weeks.

Incidents include a stray bullet found embedded in a Mosgiel deck, and two men sighting a weapon within 150m of a contractor while illegally on a forestry block at Kuri Bush.

Two Saddle Hill landowners have also expressed concern about people illegally hunting on their private land, which borders smaller lifestyle blocks.

Sergeant Kevin Davidson, of Mosgiel, said he was concerned by the reports and reminded hunters to seek permission from landowners before hunting.

Shooters needed to be aware of their responsibilities under the Arms Act, he added.

''It's folklore that people think they have the right to go on any property and shoot.''

He was particularly concerned people were poaching near lifestyle blocks, which were becoming increasingly common around Saddle Hill.

''It is a recipe for disaster,'' he said.

''The number of people building in that area is increasing, and the likelihood of an accident should someone be careless with a firearm is quite substantial.''

Last week, the Otago Daily Times reported a bullet had been found embedded in the deck of a Mosgiel property.

Sgt Davidson said police believe the bullet was fired from the eastern side of Saddle Hill towards Waldronville.

A Saddle Hill landowner, who declined to be named, said he had heard ''a hell of a bang'' from a high-powered rifle an estimated 100m away from where he was working.

''It was very unsettling.''

He planned to put up signs on his property and raise the issue with the Saddle Hill Community Board.

''Hunters wouldn't know we were working on our farms in the weekend, that our kids are there and there are people out and about.

''That strip between Fairfield-Waldronville and down the coast towards Brighton is a hive of activity.''

Sgt Davidson said a firearm was also reported to have been discharged near a residential area around Chain Hills last month.

''The concern we have is that anybody using a firearm, particularly in a semi-rural area, needs to be very vigilant about how they are using them.''

-hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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