Hunters gear up for new year
The debate between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck on whether it’s duck season or "wabbit" season may carry on, but here in Massachusetts, there’s no disputing it’s officially hunting season.
Monday is the first day of deer hunting season, according to the Massachusetts Department of Wildlife’s guide to hunting season and limitations. It is split into three different sections: archery hunting (Monday through Nov. 24); shotgun hunting (Nov. 26 through Dec. 8) and primitive firearm, or muzzleloader, hunting (Dec. 10 through Dec. 31).
Disobeying the outlined hunting specifications is against the law, said Andrew Madden, the supervisor for the western district of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
"That would be a fish-and-game law violation," he said.
With its rolling hills and rural backyards, the Berkshires is, as a whole, an ideal place to hunt.
"Most of the species that are huntable are in the region," Madden said.
Pheasant hunting season began Saturday. Unlike the other species that are game for hunting, pheasants have certain areas designtated throughout the region that are stocked with pheasants by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The stocking areas are in Cheshire, Hinsdale, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Sheffield and Windsor. They are stocked at least once a week, according to the website.
"As far as deer are concerned," Madden said, "People really need to do their homework and see what food resources are where in the woods."
Juggling rounds of ammunition and a bright-orange uniform in his hands while wearing a camoflauge coat Friday at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Pittsfield, 20-year-old Adrien Wojtkowski was obviously a hunter. He’s been at the sport for about five years. The 65-pound buck he shot three years ago was his first, and last, game.
Wojtkowski, a New Ashford resident said the best places to hunt are in his own neck of the woods, and the Massachusetts side of Mount Lebanon.
"It’s nice getting outside, then seeing something after waiting all day," Wojtkowski said.
He said that it’s "fulfilling" to eat game that you shot yourself.
"That’s how it was back in the day," Wojtkowski said.
For the experienced hunters in Mass achusetts, Madden said, it should be common knowledge that anything killed while hunting needs to be brought in to checking stations before harvesting. The deer’s weight, age and antler diameters are used by biologists to see what the deer population is.
"Be prepared, and have your licenses on you," Madden said. "[Hunters] should make sure they know their target and use all the safety they have learned through their hunting classes."
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