Petition calls for the end of duck hunting in upper bay


Hundreds of people from across the state and beyond have signed their names to a petition calling for a ban to duck hunting in upper Narragansett Bay.

A woman named Robin Pfahning started the petition recently on the website. It states: "Stop duck hunting in upper Narragansett Bay. Gunshots starting in early morning and lasting all daylight hours are bothering hundreds of residents for the sport of a few duck hunters."

As of Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 374 people had signed the petition. Duck hunting takes place across Hundred Acre Cove, the Palmer River and along other waterfront stretches in Barrington. According the DEM "Waterfowl Hunting Season Guide 2013-2014," the duck hunting season in Rhode Island can run from Sept. 1 to Feb. 9, depending on the species of ducks being hunted.

The background to the petition states: "The gunshots are loud and start very early in the morning even on weekends and last all day long. Dogs and children are frightened by the gunshots and adults are bothered by the frequent loud noise and the thought that there could be a hunting accident right in someone's back yard.

"Duck hunters create a noticeable amount of plastic trash from spent cartridges which fall into the water. This plastic washes ashore onto our beaches in large quantities. I remember one walk I took last year where about every 10 feet i picked up a cartridge. I had a bag full in 15 minutes.

"The hunters are hunting primarily Scaup ducks who's numbers are in decline since the 1980's. However, the noise alone is reason enough to ban the practice since it has no benefits for the surrounding local communities.

"Please sign and spread the word!"

People from Barrington, Warren, Portsmouth, East Providence and Riverside have signed the petition as well as folks from as far away as Illinois and Toronto, Canada.

To learn more about the petition or to sign it, go to


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Local Bargain Jerk

Unfortunately, this issue provokes a spasm of outrage among the easily outraged every so often.

Please take a moment to read the comments by "Mercenaria" from last March. They are spot-on and are worth re-reading.

As far as the petition being signed from "folks from as far away as Illinois and Toronto, Canada", well, that tells you all you need to know about the agenda of people who are outraged by the concept of duck hunting, not the noise. It also tells you something about the legitimacy of the petition.

I live close to the water in Bristol. I hear the gunshots most weekend mornings. Sometimes it even wakes me up. I don't mind, however, because I know that the hunters are acting within the law and were doing so for a long period before I bought my home. Sometimes I picture how nice it must be to be up and around and out there on the water in the invigorating morning air.

During those time times when I wish I hadn't been awakened by the noise, I take comfort in the knowledge that the season is short and that people are getting pleasure from doing something they care and are passionate about.

As Mercenaria said: It's a mixed use area and it was that way before any of us bought or were born into our homes.

As Paul McCartney said: Let it be.

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