13 September 2012

Sporting in Massachusetts

From the Boston (Mass.) Advocate, Aug. 30.

Horrid Massacre. — A set of infamous loafers down at Orleans have been guilty of the vile practice of ??ering the marsh plover by torch light. The mode of butchery is to kindle a fire near where the birds roost, when they flutter round it in immense flocks, and are swept down in scoop nets by the villains who thus violate the laws. The penalty is severe, and ought to be enforced. The practice is barbarous, wanton and useless, and will soon exterminate all the birds on the marshes, which now make fine healthful sport there. The other day, as we learn, about four bushels of redbreasts and yellow legs were sent to this city, all of which had been murdered in this horrid manner. If Robbins buys them in the market he ought to be fined for it. — The receiver is as bad as the thief. The bird dealers should all refuse to buy a bird whose neck has been wrung and no shot in him. Otherwise they will soon have no birds to sell, as well as those who love the marsh shooting, no birds to kill. Four bushels at one scoop destroys more birds than the gunners would kill in a whole season. The good people of the Cape are deeply interested in enforcing the law against thus murdering the birds, because the sport calls to their healthful and pleasant villages many strangers who have not a little money behind them, of which almost every man gets a share in one shape or another.

Whenever a matter of national importance is on the tapis, it never escapes the keen martial eyes of the Berry Street Rangers. Accordingly, at the meeting of that gallant corps on Monday, the Judge Advocate and Corporal Hunt were detailed for the purpose of marching to the Old Colony, this week, to reconnoitre the position of the tiger, in the Sandwich woods. Should it be necessary, the Berry Street Rangers, it is expected, will be ordered out to relieve the good people of Cape Cod of the devastations of the tiger, a feat that will be second in history only to the extermination of the great dragon of Egypt, by St. George, one of the seven Champions. In the mean time, while reconnoitering the tiger, we shall look after this massacre of plover.

En passant, the shooting is said to be fine on the marshes, and if our friends want the material for execution, they will find them as usual at Lane and Herd's in Duck Square.

September 5, 1837. Washington Daily National Intelligencer 25(7664): 2.

The marsh plover corresponds with the proper name of American Woodcock. Orleans is in Barnstable County, in the Cape Cod region.