Cumberland Times-News

Columns

June 8, 2013

W.Va. solons to study crossbows, gobbler opener

CUMBERLAND — Committees in the West Virginia House and the Senate are going to officially study whether or not to allow general use of crossbows for deer hunting and the possibility of opening spring gobbler season one week earlier.

During this past winter’s legislative session, the two chambers got together and resolved to do so. Thus was created House Resolution 150.

Delegate John Ellem, R-Wood County, is one of the resolution’s sponsors, along with Kevin J. Craig, Bill Hamilton, Lynwood Ireland and John Pino.

Ellem is in his seventh term as a delegate. He said his constituents and those of the other sponsors very much want to hunt deer with crossbows in West Virginia.

“We live right across the river from Ohio, where crossbows are legal,” Ellem said Tuesday from his Parkersburg office. “Our hunters want to be able to use their crossbows in their own state rather than go find land in Ohio.”

Chris Ryan of the Wildlife Resources Section of the Division of Natural Resources told the Times-News about one year ago that the agency is neutral on the subject of crossbows.

“We will do the will of the Legislature in regard to crossbows,” Ryan said, pointing out that many hunters have special permits to use crossbows based upon physical conditions confirmed by their physicians.

Regarding an earlier opener for the spring gobbler season, Ellem said that would simply be a matter of providing additional hunting opportunity during a season that is growing in popularity.

Currently, the season opens on the fourth Monday of April. The resolution calls for consideration of an opening day on the third Monday of that month.

“We recognize that DNR has done a fine job managing wild turkeys,” he said. Committees studying crossbows and gobblers will decide later this year whether or not to recommend legislation for the next session.

Red marks on trout

Alan Klotz, fishery biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said he has received a photograph of a trout from Savage River with a red mark or sore and speculates that it is a secondary infection resulting from an abrasion.

Klotz asked the anglers involved to keep and freeze any other trout they catch that show similar markings so that the fish could be examined in detail by agency staff.

Hunter courses in Garrett County

Some summer hunter education courses are scheduled in Garrett County,.

• Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department, June 11, 13, 15, call 301-334-9109.

• Accident Calvary Tabernacle Church, July 9, 11, 13 and again on Aug. 6, 8, 10, call 301-501-6514.

• Casselman Valley Sportsman Club, Aug. 27, 29, 31, call 301-895-3335.

Rod & Gun makeover

Get ready for the Times-News’ popular hunting and fishing quarterly, Rod & Gun, to have a new look in June 26 paper.

Youth fishing rodeo slated

The North Branch Sportsman Youth Fishing Rodeo will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Blue Hole downstream from Barnum. The event is for anglers ages 3 through 15 who must be accompanied by an adult. To inquire, call 301-359-0143.

A ‘Snitch’ in time

I wonder how many people who are in favor of gun control pay money to go see a movie such as “Snitch,” never batting an eye.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

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