Date: 10/12/18 3:54 am
From: Mike Lathroum <kmlathroum...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Ducks in Danger
Mr. Augustine, it is illegal to interfere with legal hunting activity, it is considered harassment and there is a natural resources charge for such activity.


Maryland has a long history of waterfowl hunting and bird watchers should be as respectful of legal waterfowl hunters right to enjoy their chosen sport as they are of bird watchers.


The activities which you are suggesting are childish at best and will certainly reward someone with a free admission to District Court. Remote controlled boats operated through decoys Really??? The hunters would likely solve that issue with one shotgun shell.


I understand that it is frustrating that a hunter bags a "rare" bird for a certain area but it happens. Waterfowl seasons are set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and do not adversely effect the entire populations of the waterfowl, rails and coots which are legally hunted.


I think it is time some people grow up and respect that there may be activities, opinions which you don't agree with but you just have to accept the reality of it.


Mike Lathroum



-----Original Message-----
From: bob augustine <augustinebob8...>
To: Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...>
Sent: Wed, Oct 10, 2018 11:01 am
Subject: [MDBirding] Ducks in Danger

Last winter I was at Violette's Lock when I noticed duck decoys near the Maryland shore upstream, about halfway to Riley's Lock. Looking further right, I detected a well-concealed blind with a duck hunter in it. I thought, "It can't be legal to hunt from the park!" I photographed the blind and the license plates of the 2 other cars in the parking lot. Then I went to Riley's where there was only one car and photographed its license plate also.

Later, I ran into a park ranger. He told me the duck hunters had discovered a "loophole". It seems the Potomac River is Maryland state property where hunting is legal right up to the shoreline. So the hunters place their blinds an inch offshore. I had heard shots farther up the river too--near the turning basin.

We all know how much ducks love this stretch of the river. At least 25 species of ducks are regularly seen there as well as geese, swans, loons, grebes, and coots. It would be a shame if we allow duck hunters to scare them all away.

Duck hunters depend on concealment to succeed. If I see this again, I will stand on land nearby and make a fuss to warn the ducks. Others could position canoes, kayaks, or rowboats to foil the hunters. Brightly colored wooden blocks could be drifted into the decoys or perhaps radio-controlled toy boats. Loud music from a boombox might help.

Last spring I encountered a team at Riley's evaluating the effects of a large visible orange balloon near River Road on the golf course simulating a cellphone tower on the enjoyment of the park by its patrons. If the County is concerned about a cell tower a mile away, how about hunters along the shore?

If you have other ideas, I urge you to share them here. It is essential that action be taken in a timely manner as duck hunting season in Maryland begins Oct. 13, this Sat., extending through Oct. 20 and also Nov.10-23 and Dec.11-Jan. 26.

Bob Augustine
Rockville
10 Oct. 2018

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