Get ready: The shooting begins tomorrow.
If you saw any hunters out in the wilds of Nantucket over the last month or so, you have keen eyes and probably get out walking in the morning before sunrise because bow hunters are quiet and operate in stealth to get their deer.
But starting on Monday morning, the 2nd phase of the white-tailed deer hunt for 2016 on Nantucket gets going with hunters wielding shotguns. This means lots of hunters from off island who may or may not know the island as well those who live here and hunt their backyard. What this means to you, the intrepid island explorer, is being extra careful Nov. 28-Dec. 10.
Realize that the same hunting parameters for bow hunters applies those with shotguns: no hunting on Sundays, hunting begins 30 minutes before sunrise and ends 30 minutes after sunset and hunters may not hunt within 500 feet of occupied structures, residential and commercial. As I walk every morning with my dog, I like to explore a different part of the island every day depending on the weather, but hunters blasting away with shotguns keeps me away from the woods, moors and swamps of the island until the shooting stops.
If you do venture out into island areas where you think hunters might be, definitely wear a bright orange hat, vest or shirt, at least put an orange collor on your dog and make presence known as you walk along. Orange clothing for humans and dogs can be found at Geronimo's and Marine Home Center.
After, shotgun season ends on Dec. 10, primitive firearm deer huntings follows Dec. 12-24. If you witness hunters hunting on Sunday, before or after the above mentioned start/stop times and or closer than allowed to occupied structures, call Nantucket's Environmental Police Officer at 508-257-6932. You'll probably get voicemail, but please leave a message with your phone number because this line is monitored by the state Environmental Police, who will promptly return your call. If you want hunting season information for Massachusetts, click here.
Be careful out there!