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Horse Owners Concerned About Gun Range

AMANA, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - Iowa City Area Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information about the shootin g of a horse on Amana Road earlier this week.

This is the second horse to be shot on the road in rural Johnson County in a year-and-a-half.

Amana Road runs through the Hawkeye Wildlife Area, and there are two shooting rangse on the road, as well. Mike Green, the owner of the horse who was shot, said he is pro-gun, but doesn't think people need to be shooting assault rifles at the range.

His neighbors said it's enough for them to pull their horses away from the road.

Teresa Mulhausen, who owns the riding academy Wyndtree Farm, said she won't be letting any of her or her clients' horses spend long periods of time on her two paddocks near Amana Road, either.

"I can't fathom this. I can't fathom that somebody would ride up to a pasture, shoot horses for no reason," she said. "That to me is so scary."

Just living on Amana Road can be scary, Mulhausen said.

"I just can't believe I live in a state where you can pull off the side of the road and shoot assault rifles," she said.

The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for the two shooting ranges on the road, and DNR wildlife biologist Tim Thompson said the safety rules are posted outside both areas, with berms set up to separate groups. He said the ranges keep the entire road much safer than it was before the ranges were established, when shooters would come and practice wherever they wanted in the Hawkeye Wildlife Area.

"We have safety in the highest concern out here," Thompson said. "And then to enforce the rules, we have a part-time range officer, and we don't have him on a regular schedule, and that's so people don't try to do something against the rules."

"See, these people come here to the gun ranges, most of them. We live here," Mulhausen said.

For many people who live on Amana Road, what happens on the range is one thing. What happens when shooters leave the range is another.

"Unfortunately, as I told my clients, I don't think anything will be done about this at all," Mulhausen said.

Sheriff's deputies told Mulhausen that they will be patrolling Amana Road more, she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 319-358-TIPS.
 
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