MARSHFIELD (CBS) — An alarming wake up for Julie Carreiro and her family: gunshots outside of her Marshfield home. “We’ve heard hunters in the distance, but we’ve never heard them right there, so loud that it woke up the whole house,” she said.
Carreiro says for the second year in a row, the same duck hunters set up shop in the grassy area behind her house. Last year, she says when they heard the hunters, they rushed outside. “The bird shot was raining down on us and we were scared for our lives. We went running into the house ducking for cover,” she says.
This year they were awakened to this noise: “It was bang bang bang, bang bang bang, bang ba-bang bang.” She says, “We said you were told to leave last year and they wouldn’t leave, they just kept shooting.”
Now the hunters want police to file charges against the Carreiros for interfering with their hunting.
According to Marshfield Police Chief Phil Tavares, “The hunters came forward and said they were threatened, and this family used an air horn to scare off the waterfowl, which led to the interference with a hunter and potentially threats to commit crimes.”
Tavares is now asking a Clerk Magistrate to determine whether charges should be filed.
He also wants the court to determine if this was a legal hunt. “You can only hunt on property that’s owned by the Wild Land Trust by permit. They have never issued a permit to hunt there.” However, he says there is a loophole in the law because there were no signs posted that said no hunting. Tavares says, “If it is not posted ‘no hunting’ it’s not enforceable. The hunters have no notice they are not supposed to be there, and to their best belief they were hunting legally.”
He says the hunters could also face charges of disturbing the peace as well. “Whether they were hunting legally or illegally, does that give them the ability to disturb somebody’s peace?” Tavares asks. “Just because you have a right to hunt somewhere, at what point does that impede or infringe upon somebody’s rights to peace and quiet?” He says. “If they were involved in an illegal hunt, I would think they were not allowed to disturb somebody’s peace in the early morning hours.”
The signs are now clear: “No Hunting.” A Clerk Magistrate will decide who is at fault.