Dove hunting near schools worries parents

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

RICHMOND, Texas - Dove hunting season officially opened Friday in Texas' "south zone," which includes Fort Bend County.

Several hunters were up bright and early shooting in an open field about 150 yards behind Travis High School in Richmond.

There were no reported problems, and it is legal to shoot on the leased farmland behind the school with a hunting license, but some parents are concerned about the possibility of accidents.

"About a year ago, a gunshot went right into a school building," Vicky Rogers said.

The incident Rogers is referring to happened in Edinburgh, Texas. A hunter was charged with aggravated assault after accidentally, but perhaps recklessly, shooting two students with a high caliber slug.

The hunters near the Fort Bend Independent School District's Bowie Middle and Travis High schools appeared to be using lighter duty bird shots and not shooting in the direction of the school.

"The ammunition we're using is not going to reach the school, and we're not shooting toward the school," Chris Cook, a hunter, said.

Gunshots could be heard throughout the day in the vicinity of Travis High School at 11111 Harlem Road in Richmond.

As a precaution, Travis High School's Principal, J.J. Kyle, sent a letter to parents this morning:

"Dear Travis High School Parents and/or Guardians,

"As a precaution, I want to let you know that the District is aware of the dove hunting that takes place on leased land in the vicinity of our campus. Dove hunting season began today, and you may have heard some shots fired this morning. The hunting taking place is a legal activity. As a further precaution, our police department has contacted the game warden and the lease owner to ensure every effort is taken to keep our students safe."

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