After “several close calls” South Kent Wind officials are warning hunters about firing weapons close to where workers are installing wind turbines south of Highway 401 between Tilbury and Ridgetown.
There are 385 workers putting up 124 wind turbines in the project area seven days a week, said Matt Dallas, spokesman for Pattern Energy, a partner in the South Kent Wind project.
“Gunshots have been heard on a number of occasions since just prior to the opening of hunting season,” Dallas said in an email. “Recently shots were heard on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.”
While no one has been injured, Dallas said, there have been “several close calls.”
Chatham-Kent police warned a man about shooting crows and other targets on his property at Drake Road and 7 Line West around 1:30 p.m. Friday, said Const. Renee Cowell.
“He was warned about shooting near workers,” Cowell said. “He didn’t know there were workers off in the distance.”
Even though he was on his own property, the man has to know where his rounds are going to end up, Cowell said.
“You should be cognizant of ammunition and the weapon you have and its capabilities and distance,” she said. “Your projectile is not going to stay on your own property.”
Cowell said anytime someone can hear a gunshot it “may be too close.”
Pheasant hunting season began Oct. 30 and ends Dec. 15, while the deer hunt was Nov. 4 to 10 and Dec. 2 to 8, said Jolanta Kowalski, media relations officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources.
“Hunters must never shoot unless they are absolutely sure of their target and what lies beyond it,” Kowalski said in an email.
According to the Ontario hunter education program, hunters who discharge firearms without due care and attention or consideration of persons and property can be fined up to $25,000 or face imprisonment or both.
Cowell said police also investigated a report of gunshots on Drake Road around 10 a.m. Sunday but didn’t find anyone. Kowalski said the MNR is following up on complaints of people discharging firearms near wind turbine workers.
Although South Kent Wind workers are wearing fluorescent safety vests, the company asks hunters not to hunt in the areas where there are personnel or equipment. The project map can be seen at http://www.southkentwind.com/overview.
Six weeks ago, two hunters were charged with careless hunting after the men discharged their weapons in a floating duck blind on the Detroit River and a shotgun pellet struck a LaSalle woman gardening in her backyard.
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