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Cape Cod Hunting - Pheasant & Quail

In the tradition of America, many people find hunting on Cape Cod quite enjoyable. It certainly isn’t news to these hunters that there is quite an expense involved. First you must obtain either a Firearms I.D. card or one of the two types of carry permits. Possessing either of these requires the holder to conform to numerous regulations as dictated by the state. Then you have the expense of attire in Hunter Orange, as well as numerous expenses for accessories. Many hunters have highly trained dogs for use in the hunting of birds, mainly pheasant and quail. Certainly there is much time invested in the training of these animals, as well as license fees, vet expenses and the like. Finally a hunting license has to be acquired from the state. Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife claim that the sale of licenses along with a surcharge on sporting goods funds their stocking programs and provides for the care of the Wildlife Management Areas. After laying out these fees what do hunters get in return?

There are several areas on the Cape that are regularly stocked on Monday,Wednesday,and Friday with commercially raised pheasant and quail. One popular area was the National Seashore,which is no longer stocked. The other areas comprise the Frances A.Crane Wildlife Management Area . This is a two-section area with the main portion accessible from Rte 151 or Ashumet Road. The smaller Quail Area is on Hayway Road which runs off Sandwich Road. These areas may look pristine to those using them, but are they what they seem? You be the judge.

The Massachusetts Division of Fish, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement are responsible for the maintenance and stocking of these areas. What is not made known is the fact that for over ten years,and as has recently become known more likely over forty years, these areas have had a herbicide by the trade name Pathway used in controlling vegetation. This material is a combination of 2,4-D (banned for use on VA property) and Picloram, a combination used in Viet Nam under the code name Agent White. This was second in the quantity used, surpassed only by its more familiar relative Agent Orange. Historically proven to be less than friendly to humans and animals alike, every time you hunt these areas you run the risk of contaminating yourself, your animals, and your clothing which is then carried home to your families.

As you hunt these areas consider this fact. Pheasant and quail are raised commercially, being fed and watered on a regular basis. What becomes of them when they are released? They now have to forage for themselves, with the high probability of whatever food or water they find being contaminated. Now this poison has reached the food chain. Is this something that you want to expose your family and friends to? Have you, your family, or your animals experienced any noticeable adverse effect after frequenting these areas, as did two deceased dogs in the summer of 2000. If you have, contact the S.E. MA District Headquaters, thanking those responsible for providing such a “safe” area.

This year when you lay down you money for a license allowing you to venture into these areas, think about what you may be getting yourself into and which is more important to the talking heads in power, you or your money !

Perhaps Olive Drab fatigues would be appropriate !!


MA Fish & Wildlife, Toxic Chemicals