Cumberland Times-News

March 2, 2013

Wildlife & Heritage Service not acting in best interest of W. Md. deer herd

Cumberland Times-News

— Dear Outdoor Editor:

I have to disagree (with All points bulletin! Deer antler bill introduced at Md. General Assembly)!

 This is not about trophy hunting at all. This IS about a group of forward thinking wildlife conservation and management citizens who want to do what is BEST for the deer herd and the antlered deer and the over harvest of 1½ age deer and that is it!

 The Wildlife and Heritage Service are not allowing what is in the best interest for the deer herd in Western Maryland!

 “It is easy managing the deer herd, it is way harder managing the hunters” is what most biologists will tell you.

 The WHS is doing what is best to keep hunters happy and hunting (buying licenses) and to keep the controversies down so that state legislatures are not calling WHS with complaints from hunters.

 If they were, we would not be at this crossroads today. The WHS has given in to the hunters that want to harvest more 1½ age antlered deer and allow for very little carry over. Look at the original proposed harvest suggestions of one antlered deer per season/weapon in Region B  and the WHS gave in knowing that the antlered deer are being over harvested and allowed a “bonus stamp” for region B.

 There was no other reason than hunter greed that this was allowed and was not in the best interest of deer management. The hunters that wanted this bonus stamp were only concerned about themselves and not the deer herd well being or best interest.

Why give in to this group WHS or Mike?

 Hunters cannot keep harvesting a large percentage of yearling antlered deer and not affect the deer herd! That is a fact correct WHS?

 Numerous scientific research has concluded that when there is very little carryover of antlered deer to older age classes, the deer herd suffers. Please remember that I stated older classes.

 The antlered deer  herd needs to have more than just 1½ and if you’re lucky 2½ age groups in Western Maryland. In compromise a hunter should be allowed to harvest any antlered deer that they wish and then only two antlered deer total per season and only one per weapon season. The hunter decides in which seasons they wish to harvest.

 Before this article was published Mike should have taken the time and effort to talk with all the different QDMA Cooperative members and landowners, view the area that is part of the cooperative, allow for some of the positive aspects of the cooperative in his article so that it would be fair and balanced article.

I say THANK YOU to A.J (Fleming) and your cooperative for moving Maryland in the right direction!! Job well done! I wish I had property that bordered the cooperative!

Tom Grosh

Clear Spring