Anyone interested in a Cormorant shoot? - Other Harvestable Wildlife - New Brunswick Hunting

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Anyone interested in a Cormorant shoot?


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#1 TheCoachZed

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 07:52 PM

Hey guys,

I live near Saint John and I'm seeing an insane number of cormorants flying into Reversing Falls.

It's legal to hunt them there, to my knowledge (I've asked game wardens). I don't have a motor boat, but I was wondering if one of you guys that does would like to set up a cormorant shoot there? We could probably take a few dozen out if we were lucky, which would certainly help fish stocks in the Saint John and Kennebecasis . . . and have some fun shooting while we were at it. ;) The birds are almost as big as a goose, so it'd be fun to knock a few down! They are used to seeing boats in there (guys fishing stripers) so I don't think we'd have to be too concerned about hiding from them - but if we had to, we could probably get some camo and sit on one of those islands in the channel.

If anyone's interested, let me know! If someone with a boat wants to take some people in, I don't mind calling the cops and the wardens to let them know what's going on, just so we don't get hassled.
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#2 bucksnducks

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 08:45 PM

Hey guys,

I live near Saint John and I'm seeing an insane number of cormorants flying into Reversing Falls.

It's legal to hunt them there, to my knowledge (I've asked game wardens). I don't have a motor boat, but I was wondering if one of you guys that does would like to set up a cormorant shoot there? We could probably take a few dozen out if we were lucky, which would certainly help fish stocks in the Saint John and Kennebecasis . . . and have some fun shooting while we were at it. ;) The birds are almost as big as a goose, so it'd be fun to knock a few down! They are used to seeing boats in there (guys fishing stripers) so I don't think we'd have to be too concerned about hiding from them - but if we had to, we could probably get some camo and sit on one of those islands in the channel.

If anyone's interested, let me know! If someone with a boat wants to take some people in, I don't mind calling the cops and the wardens to let them know what's going on, just so we don't get hassled.


Make sure you wear your hunter orange - I believe its illegal to hunt them without. A buddy was warned by a nice Warden rather than charged a few years back.
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#3 TheCoachZed

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:41 PM

Make sure you wear your hunter orange - I believe its illegal to hunt them without. A buddy was warned by a nice Warden rather than charged a few years back.


That's correct, IF you are hunting them between Sept. and Dec., just like any other game. Outside those months, it's the same as any other varmint, you don't need to wear orange.

That's why I don't hunt crows in the fall.
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#4 SlickTrick

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:49 PM

I am looking at a map, with yardage marked out.

Not sure exactly where you plan on going, but if you take the area that is "Reversing Falls" you cannot get 200M from a place of business, or a home. Unless you plan on going up into the Saint John River more that is.


Still, would be a fun time if you can get legal distance and all.
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#5 TheCoachZed

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 07:24 AM

I am looking at a map, with yardage marked out.

Not sure exactly where you plan on going, but if you take the area that is "Reversing Falls" you cannot get 200M from a place of business, or a home. Unless you plan on going up into the Saint John River more that is.


Still, would be a fun time if you can get legal distance and all.


Yeah, you can't go right under the bridge itself, you have to go up the channel a bit. But that whole area is full of them.

I was out the other day on the Saint John behind my house in my canoe chasing cormorants around. They do seem a bit gun shy, so someone somewhere is hunting them.
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#6 SlickTrick

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:14 AM

So, what are the regulations regarding cormorant hunting?

Steel shot I am assuming, still 200 meters..

Since they are on the federal migratory license, I thought there were some other restrictions on hunting them.
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#7 TheCoachZed

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:40 PM

So, what are the regulations regarding cormorant hunting?

Steel shot I am assuming, still 200 meters..

Since they are on the federal migratory license, I thought there were some other restrictions on hunting them.


AFAIK - They are on the varmint licence so there is no steel shot restriction (I've never been told that by a warden, so I'm not 100% sure). However, cormorants are pretty big, and it's not easy to find cheap lead shot bigger than #4, SO it probably wouldn't hurt to shoot them with #2 or BB steel, even if lead is legal.

Other than that, it's illegal to shoot them on or within 50m of coastal waters, except for the Reversing Falls area. This information isn't in the Hunt/Fish book, but it used to be posted online.

Since they are on the varmint licence, they can be hunted year round.
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#8 SlickTrick

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:31 PM

On, or within 50m of coastal waters?

Does that mean that it is legal to shoot them in the Kennebecasis for instance? I would be up for it, but no pun .. ok pun is intended.. I want the ducks.. or cormorants in this instance, all in a row.
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#9 TheCoachZed

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 05:46 PM

On, or within 50m of coastal waters?

Does that mean that it is legal to shoot them in the Kennebecasis for instance? I would be up for it, but no pun .. ok pun is intended.. I want the ducks.. or cormorants in this instance, all in a row.


Coastal means ocean/tidal, I think. That's what it means in the fishing book, anyway.
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#10 wwjmbd

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 11:49 PM

I think that you would still have to use steel or non toxic shot whenever you are shooting out over the water even though they are on the varmint permit. And hell yeah I would go for that for sure, I could use the practice before duck season and I hate those things.
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#11 wwjmbd

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:55 PM

Cormorants are listed on both the varmint licence and the small game bird licence, on the small game bird licence the only info is no limit and the season is the same as open season for ducks. You do not require a federal migratory bird permit to shoot them as far as I know but it would make sense that if you were shooting them under the small game bird licence that you would be required to wear hunters orange, and not required to wear hunters orange while hunting them with a varmint permit up until september 20th. And as stated earlier in this post you would have to use steel or non toxic shot whenever shooting close to water. I do not see any info on them on the migratory bird permit.

Has anyone had any luck shooting cormorants this year? I caught 8 of them roosting in an old dead tree not far from home and nailed a couple with my 870 and some 3" magnum bb's. I have found them difficult to get close to on the water but if you can find them roosting before dark you can usually get close enough for a shot. They can be pretty tough to kill especially if you are having trouble getting close enough so I would recomend large shot sizes and magnums if possible.
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#12 TheCoachZed

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 08:31 AM

And as stated earlier in this post you would have to use steel or non toxic shot whenever shooting close to water.


Did a warden tell you this?
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#13 wwjmbd

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 09:48 AM

Did a warden tell you this?

Yes I was actually told by a warden that I could not even discharge lead shot out over the frozen lake in the winter that it had to be non toxic. You can never fully guarentee that the wardens always no all the rules but that is all I had to go on and thought there would be no difference since it is illegal for using on waterfowl and even upland birds in wildlife areas. If it was legal for cormorants I would definitly use it on them since I have some left for the 10 guage and an extra full turkey choke I can only use lead through that I want to try out. lol
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#14 TheCoachZed

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 04:13 PM

Yes I was actually told by a warden that I could not even discharge lead shot out over the frozen lake in the winter that it had to be non toxic. You can never fully guarentee that the wardens always no all the rules but that is all I had to go on and thought there would be no difference since it is illegal for using on waterfowl and even upland birds in wildlife areas. If it was legal for cormorants I would definitly use it on them since I have some left for the 10 guage and an extra full turkey choke I can only use lead through that I want to try out. lol


That doesn't surprise me. However, IF you look in the regs, it says a varmint hunter can use either steel shot or lead shot ...

I agree, it's tricky. I think the main question comes down to: Are cormorants migratory birds or not? I don't imagine most wardens really know the laws regarding cormorants too well, nor do they care, since I bet only about 1 in 10 hunters has ever even shot at one, and probably 1 in 100 has actually purposefully gone out for them.

I've always shot steel when I hunted them, but I don't have any lead shot bigger than #4 in the house anyway.
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