Cumberland Times-News

Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors

December 29, 2012

HSUS staffer is Md. wildlife adviser

The Maryland Wildlife Advisory Commission is a group of the state’s citizens who are appointed by the governor to advise the Department of Natural Resources about wildlife management.

One of the nine members is Stephanie L. Boyles Griffin who is an employee of the Humane Society of the United States.

Griffin is the senior director of wildlife response, innovations and services for HSUS. According to the group’s website, Griffin leads a team responsible for identifying, developing and implementing programs that promote humane, innovative, and sustainable wildlife management policies and practices.

These programs focus on direct intervention to: stop the exploitation of wildlife for human profit, recreation, and entertainment; and reduce the reliance of government agencies, corporations, municipalities, and communities on lethal, inhumane, and indiscriminant (sic) wildlife management methods ... , according to the website.

Hunting is a lethal wildlife management tool. I would think that HSUS also views it as recreation and entertainment. In her role as a WAC commissioner, it would seem that Griffin is in a position to directly intervene.

SPRING BEAR HUNT

What would be wrong with Maryland having a spring bear season?

Nothing I can think of, as long as hunters are restricted to taking only male bears.

According to one online source, there are eight states that have spring bear hunts, including Montana, Idaho and Oregon.

The hunt could be conducted during three days in June, a week or two after the spring gobbler season ends. Hunters who drew bear tags for the previous fall, but didn’t score, would be allowed to participate in the spring season.

GREAT HUNTING DAY

We now have some Sundays to hunt in Maryland, but the regulations are a patchwork quilt county to county.

In Allegany County, for example, we can hunt spring gobblers on two Sundays, but in other counties, you can hunt spring gobblers every Sunday of the season.

The difference here is that our two-day rule applies to both private and public land. Public lands are off limits in the other counties.

Would be nice if one or more of our elected state officials would put in a bill to bring even more Sunday hunting to Almost Maryland, for deer, turkey and everything else.

CAN’T GET THERE

This snow that tiptoed into Almost Maryland just after Christmas is likely to have made hunting difficult during the last few days of the muzzleloader season, mostly because of access problems, thus further suppressing the harvest numbers for the 2012 hunts.

RING IN THE NEW

In spite of a speed bump here and there, 2012 has been another great hunting and fishing year in these mountains we call home. Let’s give thanks not just for success, but for the opportunities to have success.

Happy New Year.

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

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Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors
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