Share on Google+
Nantucket hunting dog

Hunting Season

Stay safe and visible

Stay safe and visible during hunting season

My mom and I were spending an evening at home watching tv and we happened to catch that episode of Looney Toons with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck shouting back and forth at each other:

Bugs Bunny: It’s duck season!
Daffy: It’s rabbit season!
Bugs Bunny: It’s duck season!
Daffy: It’s rabbit season!
Bugs Bunny: It’s duck season!
Daffy: It’s rabbit season!

And it reminded us that deer season in Massachusetts is underway, so it’s time to start taking extra precautions when we are out for our walks. The 2012 hunting season on Nantucket runs from October 15 until December 31 and is broken up into three segments:

Archery Season: October 15 - November 24
Shot Gun Season: November 26 - December 8
Blackpowder Season: December 10 – December 31

Beaches are still a great place to go and Tupancy is a safe bet as well, but there are certain places on the island that you’ll want to avoid. Parts of Sanford Farms located off Madaket Road will be closed during hunting season and it’s also a good idea to stay out of the Audubon off of Millbrooke Road and steer clear of the conservation property near Hummock Pond. The moors is a prime hunting area, but the road up to Alter Rock from Polpis is pretty safe except at dawn and dusk.

Another precaution you can take (don’t tell the other dogs I told you this) is to keep your dog on a leash during shotgun season, especially if he or she is “adventurous.” I personally don’t like to run so far ahead that I can’t see my mom, but a lot of my friends are very audacious. And some are just down right irresponsible! They just don’t understand how dangerous it can be.

Because Nantucket is a small island, it can be difficult to avoid the hunters completely. So another step you can take to ensure your safety is to get some bright orange gear for your dog. Remember: You won’t see the hunters, so make sure they can see you. 

You’ll notice Jasper, featured above, is sporting a very hip hunting vest his mother bought him. My mom and I did some research and we found and, which both sell safety gear made specifically for us dogs, including vests, collars and leashes.

And don’t forget yourself! My mom has an orange winter hat and an orange safety vest she wears if we’re in an area where we may run into hunters.

There’s no reason to shut yourself in during hunting season. It’s just a matter of being aware of your surroundings, knowing which areas are safe and sporting the right gear so you’ll be seen.

For more information about hunting season in the state visit the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game.



Ema Hudson's picture

Orange is my favorite color ;)