City officials in Nashua, N.H. gave a proverbial gut hook to a measure last week that would have prohibited residents from skinning or dressing game in their yards or otherwise outside on their private residential property.
A large and vocal contingent of hunters was on hand for the August 20 meeting in which aldermen heard comments on the proposal to prohibit the outdoor slaughter, dressing or skinning of animals or fowl.
“At first glance, this ordinance is broadly viewed as an anti-hunting effort,” Rick Olson, president of the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation told those in attendance. “This is an infringement upon sportsmen rights.”
The Nashua Union Leader reported that the ordinance granted an exception to “wild game or fowl (legally taken for sport and not to be sold), or poultry and livestock that are dressed in an enclosed area not open to public view.”
Alderman-at-Large Mark Cookson, who said he proposed the ordinance after receiving complaints from constituents, explained it was never his intent to limit or discourage hunting.
“The essence of it is to allow neighbors that don’t want to see it the ability to have it done in a private area so that it is not done in their front yard,” Cookson said.
Robert Valade, a hunter education instructor for more than 40 years, urged city officials to dismiss the “frivolous” legislation, adding the immediate dressing of wild game and the preparation of meat is part of the hunting experience. The Nashua Board of Alderman agreed to indefinitely postpone action on the measure, effectively ending any imminent potential of its implementation.