Cumberland Times-News

Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors

January 26, 2013

Big buck registry needed

You know how sex offenders have to register online so they can be kept track of by authorities and the general public? Then in Baltimore and Prince George’s County there are registries for people who use a firearm when committing a crime.

I think that hunters who kill big bucks, say more than 120 Boone and Crockett points in this part of the world, should be required to register online with their state’s natural resources police. Under oath, they would provide the date, time and location of the kill, all of which would be made public. Location, I believe should be in the form of GPS coordinates.

Horizontal, baby

I am no expert when it comes to hunting with a crossbow. However, after hunting deer with such a bow in 2010 and again in 2012 and taking two bucks and one doe, I can tell you this. Crossbows rock.

I probably went overboard. I bought two of them. One is the compound style and one is recurve style. Each one flips an arrow at more than 300 feet per second.

Each of the three deer has not made it out of sight before crashing. I know there are vertical bow shooters who can do that consistently, but I am not one of them, although on these three deer it would have been possible, considering that the farthest shot was 15 yards.

I got two of the deer while hunting from a treestand and one while seated in the PHT (Pappy’s Hunting Tent, so named by grandson Brady James Sawyers).

The recurve is too wide to comfortably use in the PHT.

I’m happy that Maryland offers us the crossbow opportunity. And so is my jerky dehydrator.

In the zone

You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Maryland General Assembly.

A few hunting/fishing bills are being introduced in Annapolis. We’ll try to keep you informed either in this column or by way of our Bill Watch feature. If you have thoughts about legislation, let your state senator or delegate know.

The West Virginia legislative session will not begin until mid-February.

Still just one

The last time I checked with George Timko, a biologist with the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service, there were no additional deer discovered in Maryland that had contracted chronic wasting disease.

The total of deer testing positive for the fatal ailment remains one.

Early doe hunt

It will be sometime in March before we have a count of how many antlerless deer were killed during West Virginia’s special firearms hunt for baldies in late October.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that the hunt did not draw a lot of participation.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at


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Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors
  • Mike Sawyers and his father, Frank 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.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    July 12, 2014

  • 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.

    July 6, 2014

  • 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.

    June 28, 2014

  • 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.

    June 1, 2014

  • 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.

    April 19, 2014

  • 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.

    April 5, 2014

  • MIKE SAWYERS 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.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS 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.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The answer my friend ...

    Recently, the Times-News published
    a photograph of sea gulls that had
    landed on the parking lot at Braddock
    Square Shopping
    Center in LaVale
    My first thought
    was, “If those sea
    gulls landed in the
    Gunpowder River or
    Big Hunting Creek
    on their way here
    from the ocean I
    hope they didn’t have
    felt soles on their
    feet, otherwise they
    will spread rock snot
    to our trout streams
    in Allegany and Garrett counties.”

    March 15, 2014

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