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.
There must be some sort of Gregorian mechanism I don’t understand that makes calendar time go by faster from Sept. 6 through early December.
Hunter, 90, bags buck
I had the pleasure of meeting you about four years ago during a banquet for the Allegany/Garrett Sportsmen’s Association. I was that year’s recipient of their annual scholarship.
- Happy hunter
Pa. bear numbers reported
Hunters killed 2,308 bears during the recent Pennsylvania season, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Safari Club winner’s bear killed illegally in Alaska
A Michigan woman who received a prestigious award from an international hunting organization for killing a grizzly bear in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge four years ago was sentenced in federal court in Fairbanks recently for illegally killing the bear.
Three bears recently shot
The number of bears to have perished on Maryland roadways in 2013 rose slightly to 39, according to an unofficial count maintained by the Cumberland Times-News.
Quota met for Kentucky bear bow hunters
Hunters met the quota of 10 bears during Kentucky’s inaugural archery/crossbow season for black bears, which recently ended.
Times-News will use deer photos
The Cumberland Times-News will use photographs of hunters with deer that they harvested during the 2013 seasons. There is no charge.
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’
- More Outdoors Headlines
- Time flies