Addressing Unlawful Trespassing And Hunting

An example of poaching that had occurred on the MacAlpine's property. (Photo courtesy Malcolm and September MacAlpine)

Property owners can breath a sigh of relief, now that the municipality will work to address the issue of unlawful hunting and trespassing in Chatham-Kent.

Members of the municipal government will work with several groups (including police, members of the provincial and federal government, and local hunting groups) to address the issue happening on crown and private property.

The matter will also be brought up to the certain ministers at the 2017 ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) conference in Toronto.

The decision had been made during Monday night’s council meeting, after Councillor Trevor Thompson presented the motion. The vote passed unanimously, which came as great news for Malcolm and September MacAlpine.

The couple owns a tree farm in Chatham and say for years they’ve been faced with trespassers poaching and riding recreational vehicles through their property without permission.

“We attempted to address this earlier with the Ministry of Natural Resources and they just elected not to do anything constructive,” says Malcolm MacAlpine. “We’ve gone through a lot of different channels to get here.”

Vandalism to one of the signs at the MacAlpine's tree farm. (Photo courtesy Malcolm and September MacAlpine)

A no entry sign for vehicles on Crown Lands, about 1km from the MacAlpine home (Photo courtesy Malcolm and September MacAlpine)

The unlawful trespassing and hunting occurring on their property has not only affected their business, but their sense of security as well.

“We’ve had shot gun pellets reach our house, we’ve actually had a duck that was shot and landed right beside our pool,” he says. “We’ve had bullets fired in the middle of the night – like [at] 3am in the morning – we could hear them going through the trees’ right beside our house.”

MacAlpine adds signs don’t seem to stop people from trespassing. He says he approached someone who had driven a four-wheeler near his house and asked if that person had seen the “no trespassing” signs.

“He said he had but he just thought it was a good place he wanted to ride,” says MacAlpine.

With the issue occurring for the past three and a half years, MacAlpine says he’s happy the municipality is recognizing the issue and showing their support.