PG OKs hunting lease given for Yancey tract property
By Ashley McLeod, Staff Writer
Apr 11, 2014, 13:34
PRINCE GEORGE — The Rockwell Hunt Club was once again issued a hunting lease for the Yancey tract at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting in Prince George.
The club’s previous lease on the land for hunting use began July 1, 2012, for the amount of $3,100, and expired June 30, 2013, and was not renewed at that time.
During the April 8 meeting, four local residents spoke to the board during the public hearing, three discussing safety concerns on the leasing of the property for hunting.
Darla Glazier spoke to the board regarding concerns of stray bullets accidentally hitting families walking near or in the woods, and also children waiting at bus stops, using the case of 7-year-old Brendon Mackey as an example.
“It only takes one bullet to shatter lives,” Glazier said.
Glazier has two elementary-age children, and said her family regularly takes walks in the woods together.
Travis McClung also spoke on his concerns for safety of his children, as well as others in homes surrounding the area. McClung pointed out that at the times his two children are waiting at their bus stop, hunters would be out in the woods, as it is peak hunting time during those early morning hours.
Board member Alan Carmichael spoke about his experience with the three hunt clubs who put in bids on the land, all of which have had a safe track record over the years.
“Safety is always first in their minds. Safety for their fellow hunters, and safety for the public,” Carmichael said.
The land has been leased for hunting for at least 14 years, which has helped to control the deer population from growing too large. Since the land is owned by the county of Prince George, unless there is a lease on the land, there is no hunting allowed. If the land were privately owned, regulations on the use may be different.
“If this weren’t a piece of county land, we wouldn’t be sitting here discussing this. If it was private land, it probably would be hunted anyway and you wouldn’t have any say over it,” said Vice Chairman Jerry Skalsky.
The lease includes regulations which may not be followed if the land were privately owned. These include the club must have liability insurance, must keep the property clean and free of debris, and is not allowed to hunt on Sundays.
Following the public hearing, a motion was brought by board member Henry Parker to award the lease to Ole Hickory Hunt Club, which was backed by Carmichael.
A substitute motion was called by Skalsky to award the lease to the Brockwell Hunt Club, who out of the three clubs bidding, were the only to say they would not hunt on the land with dogs.
The substitute motion was passed in a split vote, with all members voting for the lease to go to Brockwell except Parker and Carmichael. The club will pay $3,725 in rent for the year lease on the property, which is located off of Prince George Drive and East Quaker Road.
The Ole Hickory Hunt Club, which was supported by Parker and Carmichael, and Early Times Hunt Club also submitted bids for the hunting lease of the property.