Your Dec. 30 column closed with the statement — which in my view included the most significant thought you expressed in 2012 — “Let’s give thanks not just for success, but for the opportunities to have success.”
Your message may be read as looking to the past, but in a subtle way you are calling attention to the future. I’m struck with the need for the hunting community to seriously focus on the future.
Hunting success cannot happen without opportunity. Future opportunities to freely enjoy hunting without overbearing restrictions are in danger.
For those who can look back on many hunting seasons, personal health and hunting location with relatively easy physical access are necessary for opportunity. For those with much of their hunting careers in the future, and their kids and grandkids, the opportunities are far from certain. There are many ominous signs.
In a recent issue of Turkey Call magazine it was stated that 6,000 acres of upland game habitat are disappearing each day. Urban sprawl and development are special concerns in the East where large population areas are eating up rural land. Investment interests are taking large blocks of land for various reasons.
Government budgetary concerns will reduce or eliminate programs which support habitat protection, hunter access and other programs which support hunting and shooting recreation.
In states across the country, laws which restrict or make it more difficult to hunt are being proposed and sometimes enacted.
Some laws are subtle, but when examined, the intent to make it more difficult to hunt becomes apparent.
In the column cited above, you report the appointment of a member of a well funded anti-hunting organization to the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Group. Right now we are witnessing the beginning of what will be the strongest anti-gun effort in most of our lifetimes.
Those who want to heavily restrict or eliminate private gun ownership are joined by those who want to eliminate hunting.
When laws and regulations prohibiting or making it more difficult to own firearms and hunt are put into place there is no going back. Here I’ve mentioned but a few examples of real threats to our hunting heritage.
I believe every hunter should belong to at least one organization which supports hunting and habitat protection, provides information on hunting and gun issues and represents the hunting tradition.
There are a number of good organizations whose cost of membership will not break a hunter’s bank.
Really, this is an investment we cannot afford to avoid.
Reading your remarks calls to attention how blessed I am for the opportunity to hunt.
To freely take my gun at any time within legal seasons and drive to a hunting location of my choice without fear of interference by overbearing restrictions is a freedom not available in many countries.
We must work to ensure this freedom is not eroded here in the U.S.
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.
Bad catfish should be eaten
ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has launched a statewide campaign to educate citizens about invasive blue and flathead catfish - their negative impact on native fish species and what anglers can
do to help.
Nice first one
Brett Ishler, 16, Frostburg, bagged his first gobbler during the junior spring turkey hunt. The bird had a 9-inch beard and was taken near Westernport. Ishler was accompanied on the hunt by Rodney Lipscomb.
Archery open house planned May 4
CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Bowhunters Club will host an archery open house at its Valley Road facility on May 4 beginning at 1 p.m.
Turkey hunting class scheduled
TYRONE, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Game Com- mission will offer a Successful Turkey Hunting course at the Tyrone Sportsmen Association on April 27 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Commission meeting set
ROANOKE, W.Va. — The next quarterly meeting of the West Virginia Natural Resources Commission will be May 4 at 1 p.m. at Stonewall Resort State Park in Roanoke. The public is invited to make com- ments. Items on the agenda include:
• Summary of the 2014 Sectional Meetings – Sportsmen and Landowners Questionnaire.
• Approve 2014 - 2015 Big Game Hunting Regula- tions.
W.Va. cautions about eating certain fish
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia has updated its advisories for eating fish caught in lakes and rivers.
U.S. Army Corps campgrounds open
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to open campgrounds at five West Virginia lakes.
Fishing rodeo slated
ROCKY GAP — A children’s fishing rodeo will take place at the Rocky Gap State Park Nature Center on May 4 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Register at canderson@dnr. state.md.us or call 301-722-1480.
Crossbow use begins for New York deer hunters
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The new state budget includes an agreement that will give crossbow hunters their own season in New York.
Language within the budget will allow crossbow use for all small game, including turkeys, and any big game season in which firearms are allowed.
- More Outdoors Headlines
- No Bambi for you, Mrs. Doe