Waterfowlers who hunted at Liberty Lake near Guthrie will be looking for a new place for their blinds this season.
The Guthrie City Council voted unanimously last month to ban hunting at Liberty Lake after a park board member told the council that hunting was unsafe for a multi-use area. By that logic, you would have to ban duck hunting on every lake in the state.
I haven’t found anyone who can recall a hunting accident at Liberty Lake, but Guthrie City Clerk Wanda Calvert told me Wednesday that the primary reason for banning hunting and other recreational activities was to get the lake cleaned up.
Guthrie’s city manager told council members last month that the lake has been the site of teen-age partying and illegal activities and that city officials intend to reclaim the lake.
You can watch a video of the recent Guthrie city council meeting and the discussion about Liberty Lake at this link: http://www.cityofguthrie.com/Channel20/VOD_Council.htm
“The main reason for (banning duck hunting at Liberty Lake) is to get it cleaned up,” Calvert said. “We closed it for ATVs. ATVs can’t ride in there. We just got to get it cleaned up.”
Once the lake has been “reclaimed” by city officials, recreational uses such as waterfowl hunting may be reconsidered, Calvert said.
Until that happens, the loss of hunting opportunity at Liberty Lake is another blow against hunters in Oklahoma. The playing field continues to shrink.