I’m writing in regard to an incident that my 79-year-old father told me about while hunting in the Tatalrose area during the recent open season for moose between Oct. 20-26, 2016.
My father told me that while he was stopped in his truck with my nephew, his grandson, next to the old sawdust pile near the end of Tatalrose, he was blocked in by another pick up and was yelled at by a man and his wife claiming to be the owners of the property. The man, who was apparently quite large, and his female companion, proceeded to yell at my father, accused him of being on private property and blamed him and hunters like him for the decline in moose population and all of the problems that hunters like him bring.
Like I mentioned earlier, my father is 79 years old and is long past him prime in being able to defend himself in what he felt was a very threatening situation. I can’t argue whether or not the property in question is private or not because I just don’t have access to that information. What I do know is that our family has been hunting in that area since the late 1970s and have used this exact location as a meeting spot and an area to have lunch mid-day for decades. Never have we seen any signage indicating that it was private, any fencing to restrict access, had anyone ever tell us that it was private prior to this, or had any reason to believe that it wasn’t public land. In fact, over the years, we’ve encountered many other people in the area, including local Southside residents, who were hunting as well.
As for the comments that these people made to my father that made him feel unwelcome in the area and somehow to blame for hunter related problems and a decline in moose population, the last moose that my father bagged in the area was in 1989. Despite not having much success hunting for years, he returns to the area to hunt and fish, after living in Colleymount for many years, because of his love for it and his personal connection to it. To somehow blame him for whatever personal frustrations that these people feel is ridiculous and unfortunate.
So, I hope that this letter reaches the people that my father encountered that day. If it’s their property, put up signage or fence it. And as for not being welcomed in the area, you don’t get to decide that. We’ll be back and next time I’ll be with him like I usually am.