HEBRON — The Maine Warden Service said Monday it will not identify the hunter in a fatal shooting in Hebron until it becomes public.

Wardens are investigating the incident that left 34-year-old Karen Wrentzel dead on her property on Greenwood Mountain Road on Saturday. They have not released the name of the 38-year-old man who shot Wrentzel.

“We will not be releasing the man’s name until it becomes public information,” Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald said Monday.

The incident occurred while Wrentzel was “digging for rocks,” according to family members. It brings to light the issue of public access to private land.

Approximately 94 percent of the state’s land area is privately owned, and more than 10 million acres of working farms and forests are open to the public, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website.

According to MacDonald, private land that is not posted can be accessed for hunting by anyone. Asking permission is recommended, but not required.

The Maine Recreational Access and Landowner Relations Program suggests that landowners put signs up that say hunting is by permission only, with their name and phone number, rather than just a sign that says “no trespassing.”

“Allowing use ‘by permission only’ puts the landowner in direct contact with people using his or her land. People who have asked for and received permission to use a piece of someone’s land are usually more inclined to assist by reporting acts of abuse and trespass by others,” according to the DIFW website.

Beverly Spofford, Wrentzel’s grandmother, gave the 15-acre lot to Wrentzel.

She said the land was not posted because the family doesn’t generally have a problem with people hunting there, but also that Wrentzel didn’t know hunting season had begun.

“Almost everyone I’ve talked to didn’t know hunting season had started,” Spofford said Monday night.

Jon Spofford, Wrentzel’s uncle, said Monday that he agrees with the private land access laws, but not necessarily the consequences of incidents like the one on Saturday that took his niece’s life.

“My honest opinion is that hunting is needed to control the populations of some animals, he said. “Making that more difficult for those who participate in the population control … I don’t think they need (more restrictions). I think the consequences of recklessness are more of a deterrent.”

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