Time for hunters to look over state's gun laws

Sunday September 30, 2012


With the fall hunting seasons rapidly approaching, it may be a good idea for gun owners to review the Massachusetts Gun Laws. In its most recent newsletter, the Lenox Sportsmen Club provided some reminders to its members which are as follows:

n If you transport in a vehicle, pistols must be unloaded and in a locked container in the trunk (unless carried under your direct control). A trigger lock cannot be used alone to transport in a vehicle.

n Ammo must be locked in a separate container in a vehicle.

n Guns stored at home must be secured from "unauthorized use". You can store in a container, or use a trigger lock. Ammo should be locked in a separate container at home.

n Non-large capacity long guns must be unloaded but do not have to be locked or in a container in a

Regarding the last reminder, one might consider the comments of expert marksman Chuck Jones of Dalton who said: "As I understand it, yes it is permissible to carry (not in a container in a vehicle); however, I'm not sure if every police officer in the state is aware of this, especially the ones in very small rural towns that do not have a great deal of training funds available. For this reason, I personally lock in a case all guns I transport."


Incidentally, Woodcock hunting season opens this Wednesday. The season is as follows: October 3 - October 27 and October 29 - November 17. The daily bag limit is three birds. Non-toxic shot is not required for woodcock hunting nor are duck stamps but a H.I.P (Harvest Information Permit) number is required. Shotguns capable of holding more than three shots may not be used unless plugged.


Next Saturday and Sunday, at 8:00 am the Berkshire Beagle Club (BBC) will be having its fall American Kennel Club (AKC) Sanctioned Small Pack Options field trials. The Club kitchen will be open for participants and attendees to grab a snack. The Club is hoping to do as well as it did in its August 3 - 5 trials. At that event it had 18 entrants from all over the northeast with over 70 dogs competing. In spite of the hot weather, the dogs and bunnies made a good showing.

Incidentally, according to the AKC there are nearly 5,000 dog clubs in the United States that hold affiliated events under the umbrella of the AKC for competition by AKC registered dogs.

Some clubs are AKC members while others are licensed/sanctioned to hold events. There are over 500 member clubs that meet AKC's membership requirements and hold AKC member events at which AKC titles may be earned. There are other licensed clubs which meet certain requirements to be able to offer events, which are in all respects identical to AKC member events, but do not have AKC delegate representation. Then there are sanctioned clubs which are in the process of fulfilling requirements to become licensed clubs and sponsor match events, where dogs gain experience but not titles.


Did you know that beavers were introduced back into the Berkshires 80 years ago? On Monday, October 8, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Florian "Butch" Ptak will be giving a little history and then visiting the actual site at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox where they were placed on October 8, 1932. The public is invited to enjoy an evening in the valley visiting the beaver ponds. Search for beavers and other kinds of wildlife that are attracted by the series of ponds that the beavers have created. Learn about the natural history of beavers and how they continue to change our landscape 80 years after their reintroduction. The cost is $5 for members, $7 for non-members, and for children $3 and $4 respectively. You are advised to wear long pants, a shirt with long sleeves. Bring binoculars if you have them.


In his September report to the Berkshire County League of Sportsmen, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) Western District Manager Andrew Madden reported on DFW and Department of Fish and Game Land Acquisitions in Fiscal Year 2012. The land acquisition program protected over 5,600 acres statewide during the fiscal year (July 2011-June 2012). Western District efforts included the following projects: Alford -- 114 acres of Conservation Easement with Berkshire Natural Resources Council; Egremont -- 20 acres abutting Jug End Fen; North Egremont -- 2.5 acres of access to the Green River; Sheffield -- 140 Acres abutting Hubbard Brook WMA and Chesterfield -- 230 Acres of former Boy Scout property. All of these properties are open to the public for passive recreation.


Recently I received a request to compile a list of persons or groups that do deer meat processing (butchering and packaging) in the Berkshires. This information could prove valuable for deer hunters who don't know how to or don't want to be bothered with this task. So I am asking those who do deer processing and wish their names listed to contact me at the phone number or email address listed below. Please provide a name, phone number and cost for this service. I hope to list the results in this column prior to the opening of bowhunting season.


The Lenox Sportsmen's Club started its fall turkey shoots on Sundays and they should run until Thanksgiving. Registration starts at noon and the shoots start at 12:30 p.m.. The price is $3.00 each.

The Cheshire Rod & Gun Club will have its final 2012 Outdoor Shoot next Saturday at 10 a.m. (22 pistol timed shoot -- 5 Candlepin Bowling Pins on a Table). Entry fee is $10 for first shoot, $5 for second shoot. Winners split half the take. Contact Chuck Jones (413) 684-3391 or Martha Lee (413) 281-8535 for more

Questions/comments: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com. Phone/fax: (413) 637-1818.


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