When I first saw the article about the possible return of elk in Almost Maryland, I was ecstatic. I thought this would be a boost to tourism and the hunting community, and the farm lands of Mount Savage would be the perfect place.
The more I thought about it, however, I realize it’s a bad idea, for two reasons.
1) Any cattle farmer around has a story of deer clipping the electric fence with their hooves, and cattle being out of the pasture overnight. To prevent this with elk, farmers will have to install two or three wire high-tensile fencing. The average cost for two wire high-tensile fencing is approximately $2 a foot. A square mile requires 1,800 feet of fencing. Multiply that by two equals 3,600 feet.
How many acres is the average cattle farm in Allegany County? How about Garrett County? The great thing is, there are taxpayer funded subsidies to help pay for this fencing at approximately $1 a foot. Return elk to Almost Maryland and the amount of requests for subsidizing high-tensile fencing will definitely increase. Assuming most of your readers are against wasteful government spending, they will have second thoughts about supporting the return of elk.
2) The health of our forests has been greatly diminished with the absence of predators, four-legged and two-legged type. I know I’m out of the ordinary because I’m all about hunting doe, but most of my fellow farmers understand that.
The return of elk is not going to increase the number of hunters in Maryland. Maybe on the short term, but the novelty will wear off and we’ll be back to a small number of hunters in the mountains again. I’m seeing enough damage in our woods: native plants, oak regeneration, and Japanese stilt grass spreading into the forests around Mount Savage and the Highlands Trail. We don't need another large herbivore!
Thanks for maintaining a great Outdoor Page every Sunday.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has recognized anglers who reside within the circulation area of the Cumberland Times-News for catching trophy rainbow trout.
Sharpshooters whack more deer in park
THURMONT, Md. (AP) — The National Park Service says government sharpshooters killed 156 white-tailed deer in the fifth year of a herdreduction
program at Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont.
Club meeting today at 3 p.m.
WESTERNPORT — The Upper Potomac Rod and Gun Club will meet Sunday
at 3 p.m. at the Westernport American Legion, according to Gordon Green, 301-
Political effort fails to stop Nebraska mountain lion hunts
LINCOLN, Neb. — Recently, the Nebraska Senate failed to override the governor’s veto of LB 671—the mountain lion hunting ban. Pushed by Senator Ernie Chambers, the motion which needed 30 votes to pass only garnered 24 yes votes.
Turkey calling contest scheduled
KEYSER, W.Va. — The Outdoor Club at Potomac State College of West Virginia
University will sponsor a wild turkey calling contest Tuesday in the Davis Conference Center.
Another Pa. deer has CWD
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Jefferson County deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, marking the seventh case in a captive or wild deer since 2012.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is advising Western Maryland residents to take measures to avoid unwelcome visits from hungry black bears.
The agency said recently that bears are leaving their winter dens and searching for food.
Deer birth control program falls short in New York town
HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) — Heavy snow and red tape resulted in a disappointingly slow start for a pioneering program in a New York suburb to use birth control as a no-kill way to thin the numbers of deer.
How many deer on Green Ridge?
A study completed in 2013 by a master’s degree candidate at the University of Delaware showed that there are 20 to 30 deer per square mile on the Green Ridge State Forest, including some pretty darn nice bucks.
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.
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