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Cape Cod The Cape Used to be a Hunter’s Heaven

“Hunter’s Heaven” does not refer to a place where hunters go who shoot themselves by accident. Nor does it refer to a place for persons shot by mistake while deer hunting. No, I mean by “Hunter’s heaven” the woods and fields of Cape Cod. Here the small-game sportsman once used to really enjoy himself. In fall and winter, the silent woods and grassy fields beckoned to him. There he would find an abundance of rabbits, quail, foxes, grouse and pheasants, The ponds and salt marshes were fine for shooting ducks. Deer were common enough.

Though the forests are now mostly gone or thinned, small game is very plentiful. Even on well-traveled roads, the motorist often sees a rabbit quickly hopping his way across, or a pheasant may fly up near him. In spring and fall, he will see many wild ducks flying or feeding. He may even be lucky enough to see a deer.

When I was younger my friends and I did allot of hunting here. Unfortunately, many of the areas we used to hunt are now neighborhoods and developments. Back then even the neighborhoods were hunting areas, as many of these “summer only” neighborhoods were desolate during the hunting seasons. There is still very good deer hunting on the Cape, but many of the older, smarter, deer know to go where hunting is not allowed (like in someone’s backyard). That being said, there are now a few creatures around that were never here during my youth. Namely the wild turkey, Eastern coyote, and most recently the fisher cat, or marten. Pretty soon the wolf, moose, and bear will likely roam this sandbar. The welcomed (by some) demise of large scale hunting and legal hunting areas here has given rise to another problem, a very serious one—lyme disease. When we were kids, no one ever worried about getting bitten by ticks. Now almost everyone knows someone afflicted by lyme disease.

Daniel Webster is said to have been the Cape’s first sportsman. It is said that other hunters, by their greedy gaming and destruction of animal life, so discouraged Mr. Webster that he bought himself a large tract in Marshfield, where those men would find no welcome as hunters. This basically means he posted his land, like many folks here now do.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 01/23/06
Categories: NatureOutdoors
Keywords: hunting, outdoors


I saw my first deer on the Cape this weekend after vacationing there for more than a decade.

Posted by Mike from NY on 07/05/11 at 04:08 PM | #

Mike, you’re from NY. Even the deer on the Cape hate you.

Posted by Mitch from Dennis on 05/03/12 at 07:36 PM | #

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