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.
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