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.
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.
- Let’s talk about it
AGSA creates website
The Allegany-Garrett Sportsmen’s Association, in existence since 1972, now has a website (www.agsaclub.org).
City-limits deer kill rises
The number of deer killed during Parkersburg’s 2013 urban archery hunt jumped 100 percent from 2012’s total.
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.
- More Outdoors Headlines
- Gobbler stuff can get crazy