Cumberland Times-News

Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors

October 26, 2013

Turn bad idea into good one

Let’s do something we haven’t done for a while.

Let’s reach into the Bad-Idea File and see what we come up with.

Reaching now. Feeling around. There’s one. Got it.

Well, look at this. The Frederick News-Post is reporting that the Maryland State Police wants to help farmers get rid of crop-eating deer.

In essence, the program would link a willing trooper with a landowner who wants deer killed.

The News-Post article said MSP representative Michael J. Brady is coordinating the effort and attributes this to Brady:

The farmer benefits by reducing deer population on their land; the police officers enjoy a recreational activity and provide venison for their familes, the farmer or the Hunters Feeding the Hungry program, and the public gains by reduction in the number of deer accidents.

In addition, Frederick County Farm Bureau President Charles Brault is quoted as saying:

If you have, or know of someone who has concerns about letting inexperienced shooters or people you don’t know, hunt your farm, Maryland State Police has proposed a solution.

I have two concerns about this idea. I don’t think it draws from a large enough hunter pool to get the job done and it eliminates license buying hunters.

Four percent of Marylanders hunt. I would think that means that 4 percent of troopers hunt. How many troopers are in or near Frederick County who would be the pool for this effort?

If it is 100 troopers, that means four are hunters. If it is 200 troopers, that means eight are hunters. If it is 400 troopers, that means that 16 are hunters.

That doesn’t seem like many hunters to take on the task of removing the number of cuds needed to make a dent in the problem.

Anyway, the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service already has a system in place that allocates deer killing authority to farmers and allows them or those they designate to remove a certain number of deer after crop damage has been proven.

If you really want deer removed from your corn or soybean fields, here is an idea.

Maryland has in place a system of managed deer hunts. To participate, hunters must show that they have a certain level of skill using the bow or muzzleloader or shotgun or rifle. Use that same qualification system to certify hunters and make a list of them to be perused by farmers with crop damage.

If some of those people happen to be state troopers, that’s fine. In any event, it will put more qualified hunters a phone call away than just relying on police officers.

The wildlife agency has also addressed the deer/crop problem in that part of the state by allowing bowhunters to take an unlimited number of antlerless deer.

Killing deer and caring for the carcass is not an effortless task, especially if you do the processing yourself. It can get old after a while and, really, how many deer can one family eat, whether it is a trooper’s family or not.

The MSP idea is on the right track, it just needs to have a wider vision.

I can envision Allegany County families taking advantage of such a program, even in Frederick County.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at

Text Only
Michael A Sawyers - Outdoors
  • 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

  • Gobbler stuff can get crazy

    Tough, old bird
    The third gobbler I killed was in 1990 while hunting on Pond Hill near McCoole. Relatively early in the morning I sent out a couple yelp calls. Immediately, 75-100 yards away, what sounded like three gobblers got into a fight.

    March 8, 2014

  • MIKE SAWYERS Almost Maryland welcomes you back

    If you are a hunter in Almost Maryland, circle Thursday on your calendar so you don’t forget to attend the 7 p.m. hearing at Mountain Ridge High School in Frostburg that deals with proposed hunting regulations for the next two years.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Gobbler radar activated

    With only 54 days until it opens, the Maryland spring gobbler season is officially on the radar.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Region A buck, doe changes possible

    The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service, the Allegany-Garrett Sportsmen’s Association, the Quality Deer Management Association and the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen have hashed out a new deer hunting concept for Region A, which includes Garrett, Allegany and the western portion of Washington counties.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIKE SAWYERS Meshach Browning would say ‘Just do it’

    I wonder if it is possible to attach a
    GPS unit to legislation that has been
    introduced at the Maryland General

    February 1, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Must Read
House Ads