NewsThe request for a variance of use to allow a licensed game reserve at 16641 2B Road near Walkerton was tabled after hearing from the public.

Earlier this month the Marshall County Board of Zoning Appeals heard the request of Carman Farms to operate a game preserve on 2B Road.  The property, 132 acres will be fenced with the primary area to be an alpha field surrounded by trees.

When asked what type of animals the game reserve would have for hunters they responded, anything that Indiana would provide, white tail deer, sheep, goats and others.  People would pay to hunt on the property using any guns or bows that are legal in Indiana.

During the public hearing neighbors Steve and Cheryl Linback stated they live within 25 feet from the fence pole. They are concerned with all the shooting that will be happening from September through April.  They have grandchildren and small animals in the yard.  They also questioned who will be coming to shoot and how often and what the effect will be on their property value.

Ellen Hummel, another neighbor, has lived on her property over 40 years.  She has mallard ducks and Canadian geese on her pond.  She’s concerned if they are shooting waterfowl and what their plans are.

Cory Hawkins who lives on 2B Road is concerned that bullets will be flying across his property.  He said there are hunters surrounding this property already that have been hunting the area for years with permission.  He’s worried about the dogs on his property.  He said he and the neighbors want to know more about the plan of operation.

Carolyn and Jim Monroe live on Redwood Road.  He said, “I have two things to address. It isn’t safe and my property value is going to go down.”  He continued, “Trapping animals, caging them, feeding them and killing them in my backyard.”  They are against the idea.  They feel that they are losing the freedom to enjoy their property.

Jim Duff farms on two sides of the property.  He mentioned that the reserve is on a gravel road and he’s concerned with the additional traffic.  He also said the property in questions has lots of wet ground.

There was also a letter in opposition from the Allison Trust listing a number of concerns.

After closing the public hearing, the BZA asked who would be coming to the reserve to shoot.  It was stated clients of the farm.  Shooting will take place during hunting season with a new fence surrounding the property.  Also 4,300 trees have been ordered to be planted on the perimeter.  It was also stated that the reserve would be shooting waterfowl.  When asked approximately how many paid hunters they would have it was stated 80 to 150.  They said every hunter would have a guide.

The County Board of Zoning Appeals tabled any action on the request.  They felt that more information was necessary on selling wild animal game hunts and it was suggested Carman Farms present a business plan and include a written plan of operation with a site plan.