The hunters say they’re keeping alive a tradition that’s lawful and safe. The nearby residents say it rattles their nerves and sends their dogs hiding beds.


At issue is duck-hunting along the Navesink River in Fair Haven, and the conflict gets some ink in the real estate section of today’s New York Times.

From the article:

As for state officials, they appear to discern nothing yet but the loud buzz of community debate. Perhaps the only message coming through clearly is the one aimed at those who think about buying or renting property near a riverside in New Jersey: Caveat emptor. Those “riv vues” may have a disconcerting soundtrack.

“After selling my house, I rented a great place on the scenic, serene Navesink River,” Susan E. Russell, who moved in last spring, wrote in a letter that made its way to a reporter. During hunting season, which runs six days a week (it ended last Tuesday), it turns out “I’m paying for a panoramic view of mayhem,” she wrote.

Ms. Russell, an animal rights advocate who has collected signatures from homeowners here and in nearby towns along the Shrewsbury River on a petition to stop the hunting of waterfowl in “densely populated” communities, and forwarded them to Gov. Jon Corzine in November, complained that she is often awakened before 6 a.m. by gunfire.

“I spend the day in earmuffs — or play blaring music,” she claimed, adding that she tried not to watch as “darling bufflehead” ducks flew into the line of fire.

And, defending the hunt, is riverfront resident and hunter Brian Rice:

Although Mr. Rice says he believes property owners’ rights include the one to peace and quiet, it is peace and quiet only as prescribed by law. “As hunters,” he asserted, “we are extremely careful to meet the requirements for decibel level” by keeping the required distance from shore. He also noted that he sits on the boards of various local outdoor sports groups, whose members observe the same rules he does.

The noise issue is a “red herring,” anyway, contends Anthony Mauro, who heads the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, a watchdog group for hunters, fishers, and trappers’ rights. “This complaint was brought by an animal rights activist,” he said, “and that’s what it’s about.”

And, in response to a resident who tagged the hunters “River Rambos:”

“I’m not Rambo,” countered Mr. Rice, who makes his living as a financial adviser. “I’m not holding anyone hostage — and there is no safety issue here. Those who are against hunting can’t get their animal rights issue to fly, and they can’t nail us on the noise issue. So then, they try to say there is a safety issue.”

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