Ahhhh. The sounds of silence. Not the song that propelled Simon and Garfunkel to worldwide fame but rather the reason so many people prefer living on rural roads: to be away from the revving engines and gunshots that punctuate city streets.

There ought to be a law.

Vermont held its youth waterfowl hunting weekend Saturday and Sunday. Hunters under the age of 16 got to hunt ducks and geese statewide during this “introductory” season as long as an adult accompanied them. The adult may not hunt or carry a firearm. Both must have Vermont hunting licenses but neither the youth nor the adult is required to hold a state or federal duck stamp for the weekend.

I like to sleep in until 8 or 8:30 on weekends but the North Puffin farmhouse sits on the shore of a bay popular with ducks. Our neighbor Madeleine fed the ducks for many years and we on this bay had an informal moratorium on hunting shanties. It is a tranquil body of water.

Shotguns — even those pointed at the sky — pounding the dawn a few hundred feet from my bed do bust tranquility. Pretty hard on the ducks, too.


A South Puffin ordinance prohibits either Leatherface Hewitt or Lynyrd Skynyrd from starting a chainsaw within city limits before 9 a.m. It is an irritant to construction workers but pleasant for residents.

The regular duck season opens Saturday-week, October 10, in the Lake Champlain and Interior Vermont Zones but next Tuesday October 6 in the Connecticut River Zone. The split season Lake Champlain Zone runs just three days then restarts on October 24 and runs through December 18. Legal shooting hours for waterfowl begin one-half hour before sunrise every day of the season and end at sunset.


Duck hunting doesn’t come cheap.

25 rounds of Winchester® XPert® 12 Gauge 3-1/2 inch steel shotshells for waterfowl costs between $10 and $40 bucks, depending on size and where you buy them. A buck a shot.

Gas for the boat and the truck to tow it costs between $6 and $126 bucks, depending on how far you tow and how fast you (don’t) row.

A good night’s sleep: priceless.


  1. Heh. This is a repeating story across the country. Folk run out into the woods and build little farmlets and 5 acre homesites in order to be out in rural country with the farmers. And then they bitch about the noise that the real farmers make when they run their tractors and farm equipment, the smell of cow manure at the dairy next door, so they set up noise and odor ordinances, they get pissed off at the idea of people killing Bambi — and try to put the farmers out of business.

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