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Should Duck Hunting Be Allowed Off Manor Park?

While walking my dogs in Manor Park today (50 degrees, sunny !) I was distressed to see three intrepid hunters, fully decked out in camouflage regalia, shooting ducks from a similarly attired pontoon boat! The hunters were an arthritic’s stone’s throw from the rocks – and needless to saying their prey were “sitting ducks” – possibly one of the large flock of silver sided Scaup that have taken residence in Larchmont Harbor, or one of the adorable Buffleheads – the white ones with the black racing stripes – or perhaps one of the many Ruddy ducks with the chestnut breasts and baby blue beaks that have recently joined the flocks in the harbor.

The “sport” involved was probably less than that achieved at Playland – as there are so many more targets.

A quick call to the police affirmed that hunting off Manor Park is legal.

This is probably not what most of the strollers in the park are expecting on a Sunday morning – and I wonder if the hunters can be trusted to keep their shots over the water – they are exceptionally close to a large number of unsuspecting walkers, kids climbing all over the rocks, not to mention infants in strollers.

Should hunters be allowed unrestricted access to the waters so close to Manor Park?

Larchmont, NY

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18 comments to Should Duck Hunting Be Allowed Off Manor Park?

  • Animal Advocacy

    Let me assure you that this is illegal and should be reported RIGHT AWAY to the HSUS and ASPCA along w/ PETA. Any one of these groups will be able to not only tell you whether this is even allowed in such a residential area as Larchmont (even if it’s offshore, it’s most likely still on legal grounds, part of the Larchmont shoreline, hence, local law would apply) but what steps you can take to have these “hunters” arrested and charged with animal welfare endangerment.

    Killing animals is itself a disgrace and the “argument” that it assists in population control (of deer, duck, bear etc) is not only weak but it’s also completely inhumane. Knowing that these ducks were just sitting on the rocks as Mother Nature has enabled them to do, yet they were hunted down and killed by gun toting monsters is akin to the “Canned Hunting” techniques employed in the red neck state of Texas – another terrible crime against animals and wildlife.

    Please report these misfits to your local chapter of the ASPCA or any of the above Animal Welfare groups. I can assure you, hunting ducks in Larchmont is NOT LEGAL.

    Thank you for reporting your findings to us!

    • Judy Silberstein

      Here is what the NY Department of Environmental Conservation has to say:


      Long Island holds the majority of New York’s wintering waterfowl. Tens of thousands of ducks and geese of at least 28 species are available to Long Island’s waterfowlers. The various seasons run from early October through mid-February. The early sea duck season offers generous limits and a long season to those hunting scoters, eiders and old squaw in Long Island Sound and the Peconic Bays.

      Many duck hunters pursue the dabbler species, rigging primarily for the prized black duck, with mallards, pintail, widgeon, gadwall and green-winged teal filling out the bag limit. Those that seek out the diving duck species generally set for broadbill (greater scaup) and are rewarded with a variety of other open water species, including bufflehead, goldeneye and redhead. Most waterfowlers hunt on the tidal marshes, bays and creeks found along our shores; Canada geese and brant are popular in the western bays of the south shore.

      Most tidal areas are publicly owned and can be hunted without special permission; access, however, is often difficult. The successful hunt generally requires a seaworthy grassboat, well-camouflaged with salt hay, or a scooter painted to resemble waves or ice for open bay broadbill rigs. For the hunter willing to scout for land, some good freshwater shooting of puddle ducks can still be found in eastern Suffolk. The east end also provides excellent goose shooting from leased lands or guided blinds. Consult regulations for the current year for restrictions on certain species. See the brochure An Introduction to Waterfowl Hunting on Long Island, available from the DEC Region 1 office in Stony Brook, for more information.

  • 10538er

    Thanks for the info Judy.
    Animal Advocacy,sounds like your info was a little off the mark.

  • Animal Advocacy

    QUOTE <>

    This is a preposterous -no, it’s an outrageous – statement.

    There is NOTHING “Good” about hunting and nor is there any such thing as “excellent goose shooting”

    In otherwords, to be very clear: there is nothing “good” or “excellent” about hunting or shooting any wildlife or animals for that matter. I do not care what the Dept of Environmental Conservation (what a joke; Mother Nature knows how to take care of her own conservation needs; gun toting humans do not need to intervene on her behalf. This planet has existed just fine w/out humans for millions of years and will continue to do so after we are all gone. It’s a misnomer to believe that hunting has anything to do w/ conservation – it’s all about the killing and murder of innocent animals)

    Please talk to the ASPCA or PETA if you still believe my information is wrong. I stand by my points – and sorry to see that the local law permits such an offensive excuse for a “sport”. I’ll be the first to say “I told you so” when a terrible tragedy takes place from the “hunting and killing” of local wildlife and animals. It is against the laws of human nature to hunt down any species. I stand by my claims and know I have the support of animal welfare and advocacy groups. That’s all that matters.

  • 10538er

    The ASPCA and PETA are animal advocacy groups, I wonder whose side they will be on? Why don’t you check with some hunting advocacy groups and get their take on this?

  • Larchmonter

    Isn’t the real issue whether or not this activity so close to a populated area like Manor Park is safe for humans?

  • Anon E Mous


  • GoodShot

    Wow! Who knew that the solution to “what’s for dinner?” was so close at hand! Does anyone have a recipe for Canadian Geese? Are they good to eat? This could be a solution to future engine failures for jets flying overhead….

    If I have a good retriever, can it jump off the boat to retrieve the water fowl (so long as they don’t land on Manor Park and violate the leash law) ?

    What a breath of fresh air! I will be sure to consult the DEC website for further guidance.

  • I have been reading this post with interest; i have seen duck hunters during the season from both Manor Park and Dog Beach during the winter season for several years. While i personally hate the idea (and find it almost comical that these warriors are out shooting ducks in the shadow of Queens) i was under the impression that like a lot of things that don’t make sense, it is perfectly legal…. polly kreisman, larchmont ny

  • DR

    Does anyone have the legal citation for the “laws of human nature” that ‘Animal Advocacy’ cites in stating that these “laws” ban the hunting of any species?

    In any case, if you look at the NY Environmental Conservation Code (without hysterics), you will see that it is indeed illegal to hunt “migratory game birds” in a very specifically defined part of Larchmont Harbor.

    § 11-0931, 4. a. (3) states that no person shall:
    “use a firearm or a long bow for the hunting of migratory game birds in Larchmont Harbor, specifically those portions bounded by the following points of land:

    However, that seems to include only the harbor itself north of Manor Park, so the Sound off of Manor Park would not be restricted.

    Section 4.a (2) of the code states that firearms may not be discharged within 500 feet of a house. But Section 4.a (4)(b)(4) then states that restriction does NOT apply to the “discharge of a shotgun over water by a person hunting migratory game birds if no dwelling house or public structure, livestock or person is situated in the line of discharge less than five hundred feet from the point of discharge.”

    In short, duck hunting is legal off Manor Park as long as they are not in the Harbor itself and do not shoot in the “line of discharge” toward the park.

    Although some might find this offensive or an invasion of the tranquility that we visit Manor Park for, being offended by an action does not entitle one to declare that action illegal.

    However, there IS one additional action under the EnCon laws that is definitely illegal: the harassment of hunters who are acting within the law:

  • GoodShot

    Thanks DR for posting the rather sensible regulations governing hunting off of Manor Park! Some checking on the DEC website revealed lots of information about daily bag limits, possession limits, seasons for various species, shot requirements, etc. Other hunting spots in the area have included the waters off of Glen Island, David’s Island, etc. It’s interesting that there is an extended season (early November) for junior hunters (ages 12-15) if accompanied by a licensed adult. The website is generally full of helpful information for responsible hunting.

    Further checking of an old (12-29-1991) NY Times article revealed that there were duck hunting guides active in Westchester (are there still?) and that the President of the Aududon Society himself was an avid duck hunter.

    For the duck hunters of Larchmont, this is a great opportunity if you can find a suitable boat. But, you’d better hurry….all seasons close by January 31!

  • Delicious Veggies

    Let’s just hope that Mr. Big Shot i.e. GoodShot is not w/in EARshot of any of the stray bullets that the duck hunters will undoubtedly shoot from the safety of their “suitable boats” :-0

    Because there will undoubtedly be plenty in line to say “told you so” when your “fun” and games called “hunting” turns into a tragic set of events. Hunting in Suburbia is a true accident waiting to happen if ever there was one. Not to mention what may happen to housing prices should the general public, outside the golden gates of Larchmont, gets wind of this….just saying…..the media does love ‘local interest’ stories like this and …..hmmmm…….one never knows….

    But, before you get too excited, I don’t think it’ll be Hollywood calling for the movie rights.

    Did you know? That vegans and vegetarians live a much healthier lifestyle than their meat eating carnivore neighbors? It’s true. The propensity towards certain cancers (Prostate, Breast, Lung and Colorectal) as well as heart disease and stroke, is much greater for those who eat meat on a regular basis (more than 1x/week). In fact, switching to a plant based diet can actually reverse the negative effects caused by eating meat – including fowl and poultry – and vegans and vegetarians live an average of 6 years longer than their carnivore counterparts according to studies published by the NE Journal of Medicine!!

  • DR

    It seems to me that this story has absolutely nothing to do with vegetarianism, as presumably the level of consumption of ducks in the world will not be affected in the least by chasing duck hunters a half mile in one direction or the other so they hunt off the Mamaroneck or New Rochelle shores instead of the sliver of property that is the Larchmont shoreline.

    The bottom line is that duck hunting remains legal within the LI Sound outside of the prohibited area of Larchmont Harbor itself.

    Further, it seems incredibly absurd to invoke the ghost of falling housing prices based on the idea that a mass panic will ensue once “the public” discovers that duck hunters actually exist. That catch-all suburban scare tactic just doesn’t hold water in this case because I have yet to hear of a single case in which a homeowner has had even a single piece of shot fall upon their property due to hunters on the LI Sound.

    NY State has very specific fish and game laws, as I cited above, to ensure that hunters engage in safe behavior in the exact same way that laws regulate driving to ensure that the threat to other drivers and to pedestrians is minimized.

    The main difference, of course, is that there is no evidence at all of duck hunters having posed a tangible threat to anyone in Larchmont. The same, obviously, cannot be said about about cars, which the stories of pedestrians hit and drunks pulled over can attest to.

    Yet no one seriously would consider banning all cars in Larchmont because that would presumably impact their ability to own ability to move about.

    So in the absence of any tangible harm to life or property, it seems that the only objection people can have to duck hunters is aesthetic. And again, just because you find an action personally offensive does not give you a single bit of right to attempt to control or prohibit that action, as long as that action is legal under NY State legal code or fish and game laws.

    • logic and reason

      Killing animals has everything to do with consumption. If you don’t understand the concept, as you evidently don’t, then you should spend some time reading books rather than policies, laws and bills.

      By stating that “it seems incredibly absurd to invoke the ghost of falling house prices based on the idea that a mass panic (your words are hyper selective btw) will ensue once the public discovers duck hunters actually exist” is taking a point and trivializing it to your own advantage. In journalism, we call it selective reporting; amongst the general population, it’s called selective listening.

      I think what the respondent was saying was that there’s a greater threat of serious injury from hunting and shooting guns and ammo in a suburban neighborhood, from a stray bullet for example, and should it result in a tragic event, then the media would pick up on it. A story with a tragic ending might not assist in helping the sales of an already distressed real estate market and local economy.

      I think the respondent made a lot of sense, if you could have just taken the time to read further into what he or she was saying. Reading between the lines always helps.

  • bobo

    Logic and Reason,
    Let’s say for the sake of argument (since I have no desire to look up actual fact) that duck hunting has been allowed for the past 30 years in LIS off of Larchmont. In those past 30 years, how many murders, rapes, and vehicle accidents with death or serious injury have occurred within the Village? And how many duck hunting accidents have occurred? Of course there is a chance of being injured by a stray pellet from a shotgun. There is also a chance that you could be crushed by a falling meteor while walking outside. Do you look up every time you leave your house?

    • logic and reason

      No bobo, I actually look DOWN every time I walk out of my house or out the door for that matter. If not, I may trip over something in my way – i.e. debris, a broken step etc.

      Statistically, there is a far greater chance of tripping on what’s in front of me, and spraining my ankle for example, then a meteor flying at me when I leave my home.

      However, stray bullets

      Guns are violent. Killing is violence. Are you going to join the group here who believe that killing in any way shape or form is a sport? If so, then we have absolutely nothing to discuss. And trust me, stray bullets, pellets etc. cause greater injury today than meteors – in the Tri-State area that is…..

      ‘Nuff said.

      • Dan

        I think we’ve strayed from the point of the OP, who among other things was questioning whether duck hunting is legal in this particular location. The answer appears to be “yes” (with the caveat that the “line of discharge” may not be toward persons, dwellings, etc. within 500 feet). Personal views regarding violence, harming animals, public safety, etc. are understandable, but will not alter this situation. If you don’t like the law, try to get it changed. Having the general provision struck down that duck hunting is permitted in the Sound would be viewed as overreaching, would be bitterly opposed by hunters and others and on a practical basis is just never going to happen. You might, however, have some chance of arguing that as a matter of public safety the restricted area ought to be expanded (see above post of DR re §11-0931,4.a.(3)). If you feel strongly enough about this to make the effort, then send letters advocating for this change to the law to the Mayor, Nita Lowey, Chuck Schumer, etc. If you don’t …

  • Birdman

    Somewhat unrelated to the duck hunting issue – - but I was down in the park this afternoon (Friday – - nice and warm day) and saw something that I haven’t seen in the many years that I’ve lived in Larchmont.

    There were hundreds, if not thousands of relatively small seabirds out in the water. At first, they were were sitting in the water all in a line. A boat came up and they scattered the noise that made was like a jet engine taking off.

    Does anyone know what kind of birds they are?