Cumberland Times-News

December 7, 2013

Time flies

Mike Mathews
Cumberland Times-News

— 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.

The only thing I can figure is that Pope Gregory I was a pretty sharp guy, so astute that even back in the 1500s he knew that hunters only had so much energy.

Most popes aren’t young guys (make that no popes are young guys) so PGI, not to be confused with RG3, understood that calendar-challenged nimrods could only get after it in the mountains for a limited amount of time before pooping out.

Thus, PGI must have installed some sort of equinox accelerator to make for a faster passage of time once the archery deer season begins until, with apologies to Da Yoopers, “Da Second Week of Deer Camp.”

How else could it be explained that a couple days ago we opened the Maryland bow season when there were still two weeks remaining in summer and now we are nearing the end of the rifle season?

I love trail cameras because they show us how many nice bucks are out there.

I hate trail cameras because they show us how many nice bucks are out there.

Not seeing bucks can be frustrating, but not seeing bucks that you know are there is maddening.

I think we can clearly comprehend now that shooter bucks, as they are called, are right smart old fellers that have plenty of maneuvers to keep from appearing in telescopic sights in Almost Maryland and Almost Heaven.

Anybody who wants to go on a night training mission should follow a Dan’s Mountain 8-point around from dusk to dawn.

I’m thinking that maybe we need to take a page from the book of deer hunting devoutly read by our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and begin organizing massive drives though the woodlands.

I volunteer to be a stander — sitter actually.

I wonder if the late start of rifle season this year — Nov. 25 in W.Va. and Nov. 30 in Md. — had any impact on harvest. I wonder if the rutting was pretty much over.

At W.Va. deer camp, I said that I was seeing a lot of does still with their fawns.

One of our guys said he believed they had already mated and were back with their fawns.

I could be guilty of projecting my lack of buck sightings onto all other hunters. If so, I apologize.

However, I can speak for two groups of hunters, one in each state, and tell you that the rifle harvest was meager, at least through the time I am punching these keys.

Can’t complain, though. Had a fine bow season, tagging a doe and two bucks.

When the gun season rolls around, I like to pack with me what I have come to call my Banquet Sandwich.

This year it consisted of B&B Country Meats deer bologna whipped up by Bernie Garlitz and his crew from my Mountain State 6-point, some sliced provolone, a little spicy brown and surrounded by Caporale’s bread.

Let’s eat two, Ernie Banks would say.

You know what, though?

There is still a good bit of deer hunting to be done and sometimes the buck of a career can appear during a late hunt with rifle, muzzleloader or bow.

As hunting pressure continues to decrease, wildlife managers may have to come up with some drastic regulation changes to keep the herds at a reasonable level.

Maybe earlier firearms seasons would be a consideration. Maybe we could mimic some of the southern states where bag limits for deer are extremely liberal. After all, Maryland is considered to be a blue or liberal state.

However, if Almost Maryland is successful in seceding, we could create our own wildlife agency and set our own deer hunting regulations.

Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at