Cape Cod to Use Cannons to Scare Off Eiders

The shellfish industry is vital to the Chatham, Mass., economy, but every year an unruly flock of eiders sucks down an estimated $1.3 million worth of mussels and softshell crabs. So, how do local officials plan to disperse the birds? With cannons, of course! The town plans to fire air cannons every 20-30 minutes during the daytime, hoping the noise will cause the ducks to feed elsewhere.

However, my friend Brian McClintock of GoHUNTn has another suggestion: "I say ... let the hunters really scare those eiders off." I like the idea. Chatham is taking action in part due to economic woes—its shellfish industry has shrunk by roughly 50 percent since 1993—but the cannon operation will cost at least several hundred dollars. On the other hand, allowing hunting would actually generate revenue for the state and local economies. And, as an urban waterfowler (you can practically see Washington, D.C., monuments from where I hunt), I know it's possible to safely enjoy great duck hunting in yuppie-infested waters.

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2 Responses to Cape Cod to Use Cannons to Scare Off Eiders

mike schilbach wrote:
January 23, 2012

I would check with USFWS before i did anything like that. i dont believe its legal to harass migratory birds

Butterball wrote:
December 05, 2011

Same goes for cities who hire "professioanl snipers" (a cop with a spotlight) to control deer. Quit wasting our tax dollars!!!! Hunters can do it and they'll pay you!!!