[CT Birds] Shotguns and Geese

Larson Eric eric_r_larson at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 12 17:28:24 EDT 2010

It is the fall, and hunting season is open for migratory fowl in some areas in CT - the DEP website lists open season dates and species by area http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2700&q=323426&depNav_GID=1633.  If you have concerns about whether someone is hunting illegally or they present immediate safety concerns, call your local law enforcement.  But bear in mind many wildlife management areas are multi-use, and hunting is often one of those uses.  
I have had birding disrupted by many things - runners with dogs enjoying the trails where I often bird in the morning, busloads of middle school students shreaking joy on the strand at Bluff Point, and my labrador charging out of the house in the morning and scattering birds at my feeder on his way to remind the neighbor's cat and a pesky groundhog that this is his turf. Not always how I would wish it would go, but that's life. If I feel strongly enough about it, I'll speak up, but most times it's a learning experience for me (pick trails that aren't amenable to runners, avoid Bluff Point mid-morning during the school year or whenever there are buses in the parking lot, and check out the birds in the yard before I let the dog out).
The world is multi-use and if you encounter someone who interferes with you enjoyment, pause a moment and talk to them, you may find common ground.  This July I spent a day banding Canada Geese with the CT DEP, and met hunters who were as concerned about preservation of habitat, and damaging invasive species as I was.  
Just a thought. 

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