I’m an outdoorsman, been one all my life. I don’t profess to know a darn thing about QDMAs that Mr. Leatherman expounded about on your page. I do know that comparing Garrett County’s way of managing 76,000 acres of public land is an entirely different undertaking than the King Ranch Private Enterprise of 825,000 acres (in Texas).
Both need monies to run effectively, truckloads to make a management system work as King Ranch does. If I’m correct Garrett County public lands are managed through a portion of monies obtained by fees for Maryland licenses and permits? Other than opening yellow gates and plowing to public hunting areas, I don’t know what else can/or does get funded.
What Mr. Leatherman fails to tell you is how King Ranch’s healthy deer population got to its current state, it certainly wasn’t by antler rule alone. The way I read it, is that the owners recognized an “economic value” in the King Ranch wildlife habitat. They imposed a closed hunting season from 1925 to 1928 to rebuild the deer herd (never happening on Md. public grounds), implemented a predator control program in 1925 that included hiring a full time trapper.
Today they lease a half a million acres to corporate businesses (average lease 15,000 acres.) A condition of those leases is to have a wildlife biologist on staff or retainer. Not knowing the other conditions of theses leases, it’s fair to say that they have to at least sustain the original habitat manager’s practices of upkeep of food plots, water/windmills, brush management, fence mending, etc. I’m sure the 20-plus, grant-funded university/college research projects allowed on the property helped support the deer management also. The thousands of dollars per gun and $5 to $25,000 limited “trophy hunts” (determined by Boone & Crockett point scoring) surely helps too.
If Mr. Leatherman and King Ranch were true stewards of our natural resources and wildlife, they wouldn’t be profiting off of them. The next time his blood pressure gets up, he or the guide in one of those elevated blinds perched over a feeder should turn the a/c knob to cooler, so that the hunter (?) who paid $1,800 to have them decide which undesirable deer to “cull” doesn’t get sweat in his eyes and gets fined for shooting the wrong deer. I’ll stick to packing a day’s worth, cutting a fresh track, stalking, and culling that gnarly 3-point.
Call me old-fashioned or outdated, but I’m a subsistence hunter first. King Ranch “sporthunting” is for deep pockets who could care less how that 200-inch class got there.
I could go on and on, and Mr. Leatherman might classify it as uneducated ramblings.
I just think shoveling longhorn dung in Garrett County isn’t productive.
Keep up the informative and humorous articles.
Kevin R. Fearon
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.
Bear Watch - 03/02/2014
An 85-pound female bear with severe mange was shot and killed by a landowner along Everly Road near Accident on Feb. 25 after he received permission from the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service to put the animal down.
Md. bear hunt may take on new form
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it may change the way black bear hunts are managed to make planning easier for hunters.
W.Va. schedules hunting, fishing regulation meetings
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will conduct 12 public meetings across the state in March to provide hunters, trappers, anglers, landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on proposed 2014 hunting regulations, proposed 2015 fishing regulations and amphibian and reptile regulations.
- Matched set
Virginia confirms two more CWD deer
Two new cases of chronic wasting disease were detected in Frederick County during the 2013 hunting season, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
U.S. Rep. Dingell has lengthy conservation track record
Ducks Unlimited looks back with appreciation on the career and accomplishments of Rep. John Dingell after the announcement of his retirement following the end of the 113th Congress.
Deer group honors David Samuel
The 2013 Whitetails Unlimited Hunting Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to David Samuel at the West Virginia First Mountaineer Chapter Hunters Night Out banquet in Wheeling in February.
Gobbler radar activated
With only 54 days until it opens, the Maryland spring gobbler season is officially on the radar.
Deer kill up in Allegany, but drops off in Garrett
Maryland hunters harvested 95,863 deer during the archery, muzzleloader and firearm seasons from Sept. 6 through Jan. 31.
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