Deer hunting season in swing: use extra caution in wooded areas

by beth on December 3, 2013

Post image for Deer hunting season in swing: use extra caution in wooded areas

Recently police warned residents to look out for deer when driving. Now they are warning us to look out for the hunters pursuing them.

Yesterday, the Southborough Police Department shared the following reminder on their Facebook page: 

A reminder to all of our residents: Today is the first day of shotgun season for deer hunting in Massachusetts.

The shotgun season runs from Dec. 2nd until Dec. 14th. We typically receive a few phone calls from concerned residents hearing gunshots in the area, so we wanted you to have this bit of knowledge beforehand.

Also, please use extra care and caution when entering wooded areas (we recommend wearing highly visible colors), especially with children and/or pets.

If you have any questions regarding hunting regulations, the Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife has a website that you can check out.

Here is a link to the site: www.eregulations.com/massachusetts/huntingandfishing/general-hunting-regulations/

As always, please make sure to report any suspicious or unusual activity. Thank you.

(Image posted to Flickr by Savannah River Site)

1 Parent December 3, 2013 at 11:53 AM

My family and I will be staying clear of any woods for the next two weeks.

2 Emily December 3, 2013 at 2:59 PM

As a non-hunter I don’t really know where people are allowed to hunt. Is any open land, like the SOLF properties considered hunting grounds?

3 beth December 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Apparently it is on land where the owner has given hunters written permission. There are only a few spots in Southborough that Police are aware of at this point – around Chestnut Hill Road, Pine Road and in Bay Circuit area.

If someone else has better information on areas where hunting occurs, please share.

4 Karen Muggeridge December 3, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Beth, I believe you may have meant to write Pine Hill Road. The owner of the approximately 128 acres of land in the northeast corner of town bordered by PHR, Greystone Way and Parmenter Road, has allowed hunting on his property for many years in the past, to one particular family only. It should be clear, as you have written, that hunting is not openly allowed by just anyone on private property.

5 Parent December 3, 2013 at 5:45 PM

My husband and I have seen signs right after the “Entering Southborough” signs that say “No Hunting.” So I imagine, and would hope, that it’s not widespread.

I guess that doesn’t apply to land where owners have given permission to hunters. There are also supposed to be laws that hunters observe about not hunting within a certain distance from homes.

I notice that the post above seems to just apply to “shotgun season”. Are there different time periods for rifle hunting, I wonder?

6 Keith December 3, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Archery Season for deer opened Oct 21 and ended Nov. 30. Shotgun season started Dec. 2 and ends Dec. 14 as the article stated. Primitive Firearms (black-powder) season starts Dec. 16 and ends Dec. 31. It is illegal to hunt on Sunday in Massachusetts. Deer may be hunted from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset. It is illegal to discharge a firearm or release an arrow within 150 feet of any state or hard surfaced highway. It is illegal to discharge a firearm within 500 feet of any occupied building without express permission of the owner/occupant. It is illegal to hunt on private property without the owners permission. Last year, the Beals Preserve had signs posted that they had giving someone permission to bow hunt on the property. I have not been there this fall. It is legal to hunt with a bow during shotgun and primitive firearms season.

7 resident2 December 3, 2013 at 10:02 PM

There was a recent killiing of a deer, maybe about a month ago in the conservation land between Woodland Road & Walnut Drive. The carcass was left behind. I would imagine this was illegal and concerning with so many houses abutting that land.

8 Bill Sines December 3, 2013 at 11:43 PM

SOLF only allows bow hunting on one piece of property – the Beals Preserve. Only two permits have been granted for this piece of property. Signs have been posted notifying visitors of these permits. It is completely safe to visit the property if you stay on or near prepared trails. We grant these permits for conservation purposes based on the sound advice of conservation specialists. No shotgun permits will be issued. Hunting is not allowed on SOLF property without written authorization.

9 mike December 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM

just an fyi, deer after being shot or arrowed can travel miles. we as hunters try very hard to take only a kill shot so as not to scare anyone in following the trail, and not to offend the aniti’s. Also, there is a tremendous amount of increase in lime disease due to the increase in both deer and turkey population growth due to the access for hunters to hunt-able property. You do not know where I am hunting (with permission or non posted land) with a bow because I am so quite and respectful and camouflaged and stealth. All should consider allowing hunters before we literally have to ‘cull’ the heard in an un natural manner. We as a hole are very respectful, we are environmentalists by nature and we help to manage the herds. Thank you.

10 Keith December 6, 2013 at 11:19 AM

No Massachusetts bowhunter has ever harmed a non-hunter in the history of the Commonwealth. By far the most common hunting accident for bowhunters is falling off their tree stand. Bowhunters hunting during Massachusetts shotgun and black-powder deer seasons are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of hunter’s orange. It looks gray to the deer’s eyes, but is plenty visible to human’s. Hunters should never take a shot unless they are absolutely sure of their target and the safety of their shot. However, if you question the judgment of some hunters, nothing screams “don’t shoot” to a hunter like a large amount of blaze orange.

Bowhunters are the only interest group I know of that lobbied to increase their own taxes. The Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act initially included an 11% tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition. Bowhunters lobbied to have the tax include archery equipment as well for the sake of increasing funds available wildlife habitat and hunter education.

Without their wild predators, wolves and mountain lions, deer will reach unsound population densities. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife examines the rate Lyme disease and deer vs car collisions when accessing their deer population control goals. Hunters are an effective tool in restoring balance to the ecosystem.

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