Genola residents concerned about target shooting after finding bullets, bullet holes
May 16, 2023, 11:02 PM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:24 pm
GENOLA, Utah — Neighbors raised concerns Tuesday about nearby target shooting after a series of close calls, including bullet holes found on sheds and houses and rounds found near homes.
Dan Taylor said on Monday, he discovered a bullet just feet from one of his windows.
“It’s 125 inches from my house on my driveway, when the night before I had family members for Mother’s Day parked right here,” Taylor told KSL TV.
Taylor said it was only the latest concerning event on his property.
Over the past three years, he said he had discovered as many as 10 bullet holes through sheds and elsewhere on his farm.
Taylor said he believed the bullets and bullet holes were coming from target shooting just over the hill to the east of his property.
Neighbors acknowledged the area above the Payson dump was a popular spot for shooters.
“It’s got to be pretty much in a straight line, and they’re just coming over that saddle and right to where we’re at,” Taylor said as he pointed at the saddle-shaped ridgeline.
Taylor reported the most recent case to police.
A spokesman for the Santaquin Police Department, which is tasked with patrolling the Genola area, said officers had been investigating issues related to errant target shooting over the past three years.
According to the spokesman, the department was also concerned about the potential safety issue posed by the errant shots and had urged the Bureau of Land Management to shut down target shooting in that specific area.
Efforts to reach BLM officials Tuesday evening did not immediately result in a response.
Numerous signs were visible in the target shooting area, warning prospective shooters that homes are on the other side of the ridge.
Taylor wasn’t the only neighbor to voice worries. Mike Olsen said he also had found several bullet holes on his property in recent years, and displayed a bullet he found behind his wife’s car next to his house.
“It just seems like if you’re standing out there, you’re just a target,” Olsen said. “There’s so many little kids around this town riding 4-wheelers and their horses, and I’m just afraid one day, somebody’s going to get killed by a stray bullet.”
Taylor, while a KSL TV crew was present, spoke to another neighbor who had a scary experience.
“Ours came through the barn about five feet above my head when I was standing there,” the woman told Taylor while on speakerphone.
Taylor said he has no problem with guns or shooting in general.
“I was born with a gun in my hand,” the former law enforcement officer-turned-farmer laughed.
He urged people to be careful, but he and Olsen both agreed the problem likely wouldn’t go away until the area was shut down to target shooting.
“It’s scary,” Taylor said. “It’s only a matter of time until a person gets hit, something of value gets hit. I’ve got a lot of equipment here. I’ve got a lot of livestock here, and it’s only a matter of time until a person or something valuable is going to get hit. And who is going to be liable? There’s no way of knowing who pulled the trigger over there a mile-and-a-half away, so they walk away and say it was an accident, so the only way to stop that from happening is to close it down for shooting completely.”