I grew up in Garrett County, where I fell in love with the sport of deer hunting. I have since made a career out of the hunting industry, first as a hunting guide in Colorado, Illinois, Arkansas and Texas. After getting a degree in wildlife management, I am now a wildlife manager for a hunting camp in South Texas on the King Ranch. I make a living controlling and managing deer populations on one of the most famous hunting ranches in America.
Your article on House Bill 990 (Deer antler bill introduced ... ), published Feb. 16, was presented in a very poor manner.
In the first paragraph you said “people who hunt deer in Garrett County will all become trophy hunters” this is far from the truth, and instantly points out your side of the argument. This law is not designed to make people trophy hunters at all, it is designed to create a stronger healthy deer herd. We have the responsibility as hunters and conservationists to protect and preserve not only our deer but all wildlife in general.
Next you said “it tells a landowner that when he goes out on his own property, the one on which he pays taxes, the one on which he chases deer from his cornfield, that he can’t shoot a spike or a forkhorn.’ You are correct on this point, just like the law tells that land owner what season he can hunt, what weapon he can use, and how many he can harvest. All four of these are not judging or penalizing anyone, these are standard rules that are designed to preserve the wildlife that we all love so much.
You also quoted that “Managing wildlife by legislation can be good as long as it is not a biological decision.” So here is my challenge to you, coming from a wildlife manager myself. Go outside Garrett County and ask biologists if this would help the deer herds as a whole. I can tell you the answer, it’s yes without a question.
Also you said “It will also reduce the number of deer in a family’s freezer.” Wait a second. What?? How is that going to happen? Here is a little secret about deer. They don't magically die at the age of two!!!
This will increase the number of deer, this will make a stronger, healthier, more mature deer herd. If you care at all about deer hunting or the animal itself, this should be your goal.
Final notes: 1.This management plan is not some wild idea thrown together by “Trophy Hunters,” this is a fine tuned plan to better deer and hunting them as a whole.
2. This plan WILL catch on across much of the U.S. in the years to come, as people begin to realize the responsibility of hunters to better manage the wildlife they pursue. Garrett County is not being punished by this bill, Garrett County has the opportunity to be a leader in changing the way a nation manages its deer herds for the better.
3. I don't know of any Garrett County hunters looking for leases in Allegany County, but I do know quite a few that are getting leases in PA where they do have antler restrictions.
Mr. Sawyers I do not mean to sound harsh, but this article truly got my blood pressure up, I grew up there, that’s my home town. I have been blessed with the opportunity to hunt all around the U.S. and for my home town to start taking steps in wildlife management, is very personal to me. I have been so impressed by what the QDMA has done back there, I buy a membership there and live in Texas. The feedback I get from friends and family that are hunting and seeing more deer, healthier herds, bigger bucks, this can all be traced to QDMA and the impact they have had on a little place like Garrett County.
Becerra Camp, Texas
Venison main course
I have an unscientific observation for
What’s new, right?
Go online for W.Va. hunt/fish info
The expression “information at the
touch of a button” could have been
coined for the newest feature on
the Division of Natural Resources’
- 5 pointer
Colorado dealing with use of drones by hunters to spot big game animals
officials are taking a close look at setting limits
for hunters using drones to help spot
potential game, saying it gives hunters an
Bear Watch - 11/24/2013
There have been 38 bears
killed on Maryland roadways
this year, according to an unofficial
count maintained by the
The Cumberland Times-
News will use photographs of
hunters with deer that they
harvested during the 2013
seasons. There is no charge.
Most photos will be held
and used in the January
issue of Rod & Gun.
Sharpshooters kill deer in park for fifth year
are taking aim at whitetailed
deer in Catoctin
Mountain Park near
Lunker channel catfish, rainbow trout bring recognition
These anglers, who live
within the circulation area of
the Cumberland Times-News,
have been recognized by the
West Virginia Division of Natural
Resources for catching trophy
Vehicle hits Ark. officer
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says a man
who tried to run over a wildlife officer after he was caught shooting at a decoy deer
has been taken into custody.
Six Michigan wolves killed
At least six wolves have
been killed during Michigan’s wolf hunt in the
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- Venison main course