Cumberland Times-News

Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors

March 2, 2013

These are spring’s true harbingers

Unfortunately, there is a chronological coefficient to energy, otherwise I would be primed and raring to go for the upcoming season of Hillbilly Surf and Turf, the dynamic duo of hunting and fishing, the cool combination of feathers and fins.

That’s right. I’m talking turkeys and trout, goldies and gobblers.

But that’s enough alliteration.

If your candle can still burn at both ends, I recommend mid-April through much of May as a time to test your stamina and outdoor intensity.

This combo trip is available only during spring gobbler season. In Maryland that means April 18 through May 23, in West Virginia it is April 22 through May 18 and in Pennsylvania April 27 through May 31.

In the past, the typical scenario would be to hunt gobblers in the morning until closing time. In Maryland that would be noon. Then, in the afternoon and evening, get thee to a nearby trout stream and have at some of the stocked trout, mostly rainbows.

However, now that Maryland and Pennsylvania allow some all-day spring turkey hunting, you could vary that approach, fishing early and hunting late, or even do a fish-hunt-fish or a hunt-fish-hunt thing.

So where would a trip like this take place? The options are close to being endless, but here is an example or two.

Many has been the spring trip to the Smoke Hole in Pendleton and Grant counties in West Virginia when I have heard and even seen gobblers. There is a combination of public and private land in that area, so make sure you have permission if the property isn’t owned by either Uncle Sam or Gov. Tomblin.

How about Almost Maryland?

We are blessed here in AM with copious amounts of public terra firma. In Allegany County try a Green Ridge State Forest/Flintstone Creek combo.

If you are in Garrett County, nothing could be more fine than to drop a line into the upper Savage River after having killed a gobbler earlier in the day on the state forest of the same name. Be sure to have your lawyer’s phone number stored in your cell phone in the event you catch a brook trout.

Whether you dine on your catch/kill that night or during some future meal, you have the finest makings for Hillbilly Surf and Turf, even better than copperhead and crappie or racoon, ramps and sunfish.

You know how you can go online about 4 p.m. or so and find out where West Virginia stocked trout that day?

Why can’t the DNR also have online access showing locations where gobblers had been heard recently? That would seem like a license-buyer friendly thing to do.

I mean the DNR wouldn’t have to publish exact GPS coordinates, just something like “numerous gobbles were heard about 7 a.m. in the upper portion of Woodpecker Hollow on Tuesday.”

Here are the 2012 spring gobbler harvests from area counties: Allegany 257, Garrett 368, Mineral 85, Hampshire 119, Grant 117, Hardy 100, Pendleton 94 and Morgan 56.

So go get ‘em. I’ll be relaxing in the PHT,  Pappy’s Hunting Tent.

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

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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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