I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it.
Shoot, you may have even said it yourself.
It goes something like this. “The checking in of deer by telephone or computer allows more people to take deer home without the state knowing about it.”
I totally disagree.
People who are going to kill deer and not check them in are going to do it no matter what system is in place. I believe that this violation is a constant, or at least as close to a constant as you can get.
Maybe we could set up a separate phone number for hunters to call when they don’t check in a deer. That way we could have better mortality totals.
I believe the majority of hunters want to check in their deer. For one thing, they don’t want to violate a regulation and for another they are proud of killing a deer and want to make it official. They want to be able to talk about their success beyond the small circle of companions who know they committed a tort.
I don’t think a person who has legally checked in deer his entire hunting life is going to think, “There is a new check-in system now so I am going to violate.”
The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service considered, during the most recent regulation-changing session, getting rid of the requirement that hunters fill in a harvest report card when they dispatch a deer. I, for one, am glad that regulation remains.
So, not only does the hunter have to put a field tag on the deer, but he or she must put information on the harvest report card. If not done, each is a separate violation.
It is the harvest report card that represents the greatest deterrent to not checking in a deer.
The way I see it, a violator wants to get the deer home without anybody knowing about it. The deer will be field tagged. That’s no big deal, right?
The poacher just discards the tag after reaching safety. After all, they are not numbered and you can even make your own tags if you want.
However, the violator doesn’t want to fill out the harvest report card, because that will show that a deer has been killed and mess up his or her next trip afield.
NRP officer: Sir, I see on your harvest report card that you killed a buck on the opening day of rifle season. Why are you still out here hunting on the second day?
Violator: Well... errrrr... mmmm... duhhh!
NRP officer: Sir, I see you are on your way home with a field-tagged deer, but you haven’t filled out the harvest report card.
Violator: Well, I, uh, filled out the field tag and then, I, uh, uh, lost my pen. Yeah, that’s the ticket, yeah, I lost my pen.
NRP officer: No. That’s not the ticket. This is the ticket.
I think the electronic checking in of deer and turkeys is great. I’m hoping West Virginia soon goes to a similar system.
Stick an arrow through a buck at last light, track it for a couple hours, take a couple more hours to get it out of the woods and you can have one heck of a time finding a check station at a grocery store or gas station or hardware store that is still open.
In fact, the frustration of not being able to find an open checking station and the need to get home (maybe you work the next day) could cause a hunter to throw up his arms and take the deer home without registering it with the state.
If that same scenario happens in Maryland, just tag the deer, fill in your harvest report card, pull out the cell phone and check in the deer.
Once you get the confirmation number, just add that to the harvest report card.
You are already bushed, so not making an excursionary journey looking for a wee-hours check station is a blessing.
I had trouble getting into my Maryland DNR license account online, so I checked in my two deer and one turkey this fall via telephone. I’ll have to talk with somebody in licensing to see why I’m having trouble online.
The phone checking was very easy. One tip: Check in the deer before you gut it or your cell phone can get messy.
My favorite story about checking in deer is a true one from Lewis County, W.Va.
A husband drives his wife to a mom-and-pop store where she checks in an 8-point buck.
The clerk asks the woman where she harvested such a nice buck.
“Wait a minute,” she said. “I’ll have to go out to the truck and ask my husband.”
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it.
- Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors
- Sleep under the stars! Be a game warden!
Sale of quart-sized Mason jars lagging, merchants claim
The opening day of Maryland’s squirrel hunting season is Sept. 6 and I am guessing you will be able to drive a lot of miles on the Green Ridge State Forest and see very few vehicles belonging to hunters of the bushytail. It wasn’t always that way. In the early 1960s, when I was a high school student in Cumberland, there was no Interstate 68. What existed was U.S. Route 40 and in the last couple of hours before daylight on the opening day of squirrel season there was an almost unbroken line of tail lights and brake lights between Cumberland and Polish Mountain.
Outdoor editor admits making straw purchases
I’ll admit it. I’ve made straw purchases and I’ve made them knowingly.
I can only hope that the individuals to whom I have passed on those purchases used them wisely.
11th Maryland bear hunt scheduled Oct. 20-23
It is getting to be that time of year when those of us who would like to hunt bears in Maryland start thinking about applying for one of the limited number of permits.
Wildlife official protests more Sunday hunts in far W. Md.
Joseph Michael believes that the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service put its regulations cart ahead of its regulations horse, at least when it comes to allowing more hunting on Sundays in the state’s three westernmost counties.
Bear country bowhunters can pack
It has been four years in the legislative making, but people bowhunting for deer in Garrett, Allegany and part of Washington counties will be able to carry handguns to protect themselves from bears. Although bow season will begin Sept. 5, the law does not become effective until Oct. 1. The law applies to Deer Management Region A.
No Bambi for you, Mrs. Doe
Some people want so badly for deer birth control to work that they actually think it will, even on wild populations.
I wish I had a couple bridges to sell.
A week ago on the Outdoors page we ran the deer there do what deer everywhere do. They eat the easiest food available such as gardens and ornamental plantings. They walk in front of moving cars. They give ticks and parasites a place to live.
Black bear biologist explains new hunt
The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service has abandoned the bear harvest quota system in use for 10 hunting seasons and has set the next two hunts at four days apiece.
South Branch of Potomac River best place in W.Va. for trophy rainbows
I always enjoy the annual roundup supplied by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources that reveals where all the trophy fish were caught.
Mettiki will once again produce trout
Brian Richardson is confident that the Maryland Fisheries Service will, little by little and year by year, get to the point where full production is restored to the state’s trout hatchery system, meaning that fish will no longer have to be purchased from private sources.
- More Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors Headlines