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Hunters aim boats at flocks of floating sea ducks so onshore pals can shoot them in violation of state regs

Hunters looking to bag some ducks may be breaking state law by having people drive boats at the large number of ducks congregating in Boston Harbor, making them fly away in a panic - and become easier targets.

On a mailing list for local bird enthusiasts, a birder at Deer Island enjoying the large numbers of seabirds just offshore reported two boats heading towards ducks, causing them to take off:

The people on board were clearly hunters, dressed in camouflage, but were just zipping around flushing ducks, which seemed odd. Until we saw the larger group of hunters on the rocks at the tip of Deer Island, shotguns at the ready. I have heard from other local birders that similar things have been occurring along Revere Beach and Winthrop in recent weeks.

This seemed like the equivalent of cheating and it turns out this type of corralling and harassment of waterfowl for hunting purposes is illegal under Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations. Apparently police removed a group of hunters from the rocks this morning

A spokesperson for state Environmental Police confirms getting "a number of complaints recently regarding duck hunting near the Boston area," but said that while officers went out, their investigation "did not result in any citations."

State hunting regulations bar the practice:

A person shall not hunt migratory game birds by means or aid of any motor-driven land, water or air conveyance or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying or stirring up of such birds either for himself or for others.

Hunters can shoot ducks from boats, but only if they're docked, beached or anchored.

Anybody who sees people in boats aiming at ducks to get them in the air to be shot down can contact Environmental Police at 800-632-8075.

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Comments

What does this story have to do with turkeys in Roslindale?

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I got nuthin' for ya, sorry.

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I blame Deer Leader for that deplorable behavior.

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Pathetic cowards illegally blow the brains out of winter migrating birds... stay classy.

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and then fine the crap out of them if they do it again.

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Why do they deserve a warning? Hunters need to know and follow the laws.

I say fine and loss of hunting license for a season on the first offense, permanent loss of license on 2nd offense, jail time on 3rd.

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for drivers?

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For an analogously dangerous intentional act, yes.

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...you can get jail time (or at least a halfway house) for the first violation.

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That is not sport, it is brutality. Get those hunters a job killing chickens at a factory farm, same idea.
How is hunting legal on Boston Harbor and it's islands? We have natural gas tankers going through? This is unbelievable.

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How is hunting legal on Boston Harbor and it's islands? We have natural gas tankers going through? This is unbelievable.

What's the connection between tankers and duck hunting?

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Bullets?

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Pellets. Nobody uses rifles to hunt ducks; it's illegal. Bird shot has a limited range, and would not penetrate a ship's hull, even at point-blank range. Also, all boat traffic is stopped whenever an LNG tanker is entering or leaving the harbor.

Those tankers are a huge terrorist target, and should not be allowed in city waters, but until somebody relocates the tank farms to some rural area (which won't happen), they'll keep coming. Meanwhile, duck hunters are far down the list of possible threats to gas tankers.

Previous UHub articles about LNG tankers.

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But it does seem plausible to me that people who are breaking the law while hunting would break the law while hunting.

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You're pretending to make sense. Besides being illegal, hunting ducks with a rifle powerful enough to penetrate a ship's hull (and I don't know if there is such a rifle) would be counterproductive. It's much harder to hit a duck-sized target with a rifle than a shotgun, and a high-powered rifle bullet would probably turn the bird into a spray of meat that couldn't be made into food.

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That I think the kind of people who corral waterfowl from boats may be killing them for fun, not for food.

I think the part you're missing in this dialogue, "perruptor," is that the question of bullets vs shot and rifles vs shotguns is, though certainly of fascination to an enthusiast, likely not to be very relevant to the concerns expressed by "brutality."

Of course, yes, you would need artillery to pierce the thick steel hull of a tanker, but peppered, pinged, or punctured, it's all a bad look on a tanker, and dudes with guns breaking the law is also a bad thing.

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I would think the armed escorts with the LNG tankers might dissuade even the stupidest hunter from shooting any kind of weapon toward said tankers. But that's just me, a smart non-hunter. And what they are doing does not count as hunting in IMHO.

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Invoking an unrealistic threat threat ("OMG, the tankers!", "OMG, predatory pedophiles,", "OMG, terrorists!") in order to achieve a policy objective, even if the policy objective is itself reasonable, is terrible governance.

We can have a policy discussion as to whether or not to allow duck hunting in Boston Harbor, without fabricating threats that don't exist.

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