No more duck hunting on Quinnipiac River in New Haven, for now

NEW HAVEN -- Residents have been complaining for years, but it took a letter from New Haven’s police chief to convince state officials that waterfowl hunting along the Quinnipiac River, isn’t all that it’s quacked up to be.

The views from the Fargeorge Preserve are breathtaking, from birds nests to swans and ducks, the preserve has everything including walking paths, which is a concern.

“When they (bird lovers) bring people to a beautiful environment like this, to have a day with their children and spend their time and then they hear shots fired,” said Police Chief Anthony Campbell.

And, because hunting has long been permitted at the preserve, the chief said his department is forced to deal with roughly 15 calls a month from residents reporting shots fired.

“You’re tying up a public resources that otherwise could be dealing with something else, like patrolling an area and discouraging of crime,” said Campbell.
Chief Campbell said the responding officers could spend close to an hour on each of these calls.
He said the officers must “make sure that no one’s laying in between a car, no one is down. You have to have the officer out on foot to check the area, knock on doors, ask neighbors if they heard anything.”
After years of no action, a recent appeal from the chief resulted in the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection imposing a 1 year moratorium on hunting in the area.
“It allows us the opportunity to meet with residents to meet even with the other side, the duck hunters,” Campbell said.
“It’s in a residential area and it’s really kind of hard to stomach when you have to watch them shoot the birds out of the sky,” said Daniel Kay, who has lived along the Quinnipiac River, near the preserve, for 17 years.
He said he’s become all too familiar with the sound of gunshots.
“During hunting season, of course, yeah. It starts around sunrise and goes until I guess they catch there limit. It’s going to be a little more peaceful, for sure,” said Kay.
In evaluating whether to shut down hunting ducks and other waterfowl for good, DEEP has requested the number of hunting-related shots fired calls received by the New Haven Police Department over the past three years.