Hunting within city limits has residents on edge

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Early Sunday morning, residents in southwest Oklahoma City began calling police about a shooting near their neighborhood.

Homeowners, who live near S.W. 149th St. and S. May Ave., say they were awakened to loud gunshots near their homes.

Many believed there was a gun fight taking place in an empty field nearby.

According to residents, hunters have been coming to the area for months and targeting geese that live near the neighborhood.

Neighbors say they aren’t as concerned with the noise as they are with the safety of their loved ones.

However, authorities say what the hunters are doing is completely legal.

Oklahoma City’s municipal code states,”The discharging of shotguns, if done from a point of at least 600 feet, from any residence or place of business in which persons reside, or engage in business or congregate, provided no shells containing projectiles larger than No. 2 shots may be used.”

According to the municipal code, a shotgun may be discharged as long as it is 600 feet away from any designated structures.

Homeowners were shocked to hear how close hunters could fire their weapons to their homes and have concerns about the bullets getting too close.

However, hunters say they are aware of the municipal code and are taking the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

“A shotgun round doesn’t travel as far as a bullet, “said Randall Cole, with Tri City Ducks Unlimited. “40 yards is going to be your maximum reach when you’re hunting geese.”

Cole added that hunters who are looking for the fowl are not going to use a handgun or rifle, which could cause damage to the meat and other areas that a stray bullet may travel.

He said, “It’s just a different tool for a different animal.”

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