I have an unscientific observation for
What’s new, right?
There are a lot of
signs that there are a
lot of deer. Among these
signs are the 304,137
trail cameras put up by
hunters in Almost
Maryland and in Almost
Heaven. These cameras
are getting plenty of
deer photos and images
of some impressive
bucks are among them.
A hunting companion
and I were speaking just a few days ago
about trail cameras. We agreed that if it
were not for the images of antlered deer
we had obtained we would swear there
were no bucks on the property and that,
by gosh, the (name state here) DNR better
do something about it.
What are some other indications that
there are a lot of deer?
Well, at Stoney Creek Store in Largent,
W.Va., owner Joe Decker, a former Cumberlander,
keeps a scorecard so that all
his customers can see what deer he has
Bowhunters in that locale are chalking
up a fair number of branch-antlered
bucks thus far. I figure Joe will be busy
tomorrow when the Mountain State’s
firearms season begins. In fact, I hope
I’m one of the hunters checking in a deer.
In case I don’t get one in that part of
the Mountain State and you do, tell Joe I
said hello when you check in.
We are old high school buddies and
Kingston Trio fans.
Look at all the young hunters saying,
“What’s a Kingston Trio?”
The W.Va. DNR is letting hunters kill
two deer in one day this year as long as
no more than one is a buck. In addition,
hunters don’t have to run out of the
woods to check in the first deer before
killing a second, though I can’t imagine
dragging two deer at the same time.
The intent of this regulation, of course,
is to make more does go belly up and
keep the deer herd under control. I’m
thinking it will work.
I know everybody has their own opinions
of the DNR and deer management.
My opinion is that the biologists would
not recommend the taking of two deer in
a day if the antlerless deer herd was not
in good shape.
We already know that the deer kill
through October has increased in Allegany
County this year. A week ago on the
Outdoors page we gave you those numbers.
Also a week ago we talked about potential
antler point restrictions in Garrett
County. I thought about that some more
as I sat in a ground blind several days
this past week.
You know how it goes. Shooting takes
an instant. Sitting takes hours.
I think antler point restrictions are
pretty much already in place, at least on
private lands in Maryland. I don’t know of
any hunting club that has not placed
some restriction on the killing of bucks.
Usually, it is a rule that a buck must have
at least three points on one side.
I am thinking that this tendency to
shoot older bucks is a lot like catch-andrelease
Catching and releasing trout a decade
or three ago was a regulation put on certain
portions of streams, but it caught on
among anglers of all sorts, whether they
flip a royal Wulff or a Mepps Aglia and
even, to some extent, among those who
drift garden worms and cheese-flavored
After all, there is a no-kill rule for trout
fishing in the North Branch of the
Potomac River for a ways upstream of
Pinto, but anglers can still use any lure
or bait they choose.
I know of hunting groups who restrict
their members to bucks with four points
on one side.
Another insists that antlers have a
spread of at least 18 inches.
What I’m saying is that antler point
restrictions are slipping into the consciousness
of hunters the way catch and
release subtly became the common practice
among many trout anglers. Know
what I’m saying?
I’m cool with that.
Whether you are getting after them in
West By God tomorrow or hitting the
Maryland mountains on Saturday or
Penn’s Woods on Dec. 2, all the best in
luck and skill to each of you. We have
arrived at the main course of deer hunting.
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at
I have an unscientific observation for
- 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