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Contact: Bob Grant, Acting Chief Ranger, 508-349-3785 ext. 213
Fall marks the return of hunting season on Cape Cod, and brings some changes to where hunting is allowed within Cape Cod National Seashore. In accordance with last years Record of Decision (ROD) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the hunting program at the seashore, the no-hunting buffer adjacent to bike paths has been increased to 500 feet. Additionally, hunting is now prohibited in several small areas of land that are unsafe or unsuitable for hunting. Seashore lands where hunting is and is not allowed are depicted on maps available from park rangers, at the visitor centers, at park headquarters, and at http://www.nps.gov/caco/parkmgmt/hunting-information.htm.
As in previous years and also in accordance with the ROD and EIS, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW) plans to stock pheasants in time for the pheasant season which begins October 18. Other popular hunting seasons getting underway in mid-October include waterfowl, quail, and deer-by-archery. This year, the deer-by-shotgun season will run from December 1 through December 6. Hunting seasons, bag limits, license requirements, and several other hunting regulations are established by the state, and can be accessed at http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/.
Other elements of the ROD and EIS have been initiated but will not affect hunting within the park this year. A special regulation that would allow a spring turkey hunt within the Seashore is currently in review. Earlier this year, the first phase of a cultural landscape restoration project was completed on about 30 acres in the Marconi Area. Work on this project will continue over the next several years to provide a more open vista and increase native heathland and grassland habitat - this is expected to have ancillary benefit to upland game species in coming years.
Superintendent George Price said "Fall is a very special time to enjoy the outdoors on Cape Cod. With a little courtesy and common sense, both hunters and non-hunters have safely shared the park for generations, and we fully expect this respectful coexistence to continue. We encourage all visitors, hunters and non-hunters alike, to familiarize themselves with where hunting is and is not allowed in the Seashore, to wear orange when enjoying areas where hunting is allowed, and to remember that there is no hunting on Sundays anywhere in the state of Massachusetts."