Give Hunters Paint Balls, Not Shells, And Color Geese Alive


Harry Gets Orange, Joe Can Have Green

November 17, 1991|By Capt. Bob Spore

The weatherman has promised to bring the temperatures more in line with November after a very pretty week.

Today is supposed to be thelast day of 1991 fall striped bass season, but I've said that before.

Very few folks are thinking about fishing, and that's too bad,

because some excellent perch fishing can be had around the mouth of the Magothy River.

Pickerel should start biting in the tributariesnow that the water is cooling off, and I'll bet you could find some sea bass and maybe even a tautog or two around some of the wrecks or rock piles.

Goose season came in Tuesday, but the action is slow due to the good weather and the limit of one bird per day. I've been told a lot of birds are around.

The action will pick up beginning Dec. 9 when the last half of the season starts and hunters can keep two birds. Hunters are just not going to pay the high guide prices for one bird.

Remington and Winchester need to develop a shotgun that shoots paint balls so that hunters can join the catch-and-release fishermen. Harry gets the orange paint balls, Joe gets the green

ones. They can shoot birds all day and not kill a thing. The paint balls will contain washable paint so in a day or two the birds will look asgood as new and can be shot again.

Everybody would make out with a paint-ball hunting season. The shell manufacturers would sell a tremendous number of shells, because the hunters would not have to stop after shooting one or two birds.

The shooting season could be extended, the guides would be booked up every day because of the unlimited shooting possibilities, motels and restaurants would be full, the birds would only suffer mild harassment and many more of us would enjoy the thrill of hunting again.

I stopped waterfowling a few years back, because I didn't like killing the beautiful birds.

It's a personal thing. I've killed a pile of game over the years, but I'm mellowing. I love to spend the day in a goose pit with a good caller, crouch awaiting the sound of wings and then flop the top open and start shooting as the birds scatter in all directions. I miss that thrill, but I really don't want to kill them any more, and I've talked to many others who agree.

Someone suggested hunting with a camera, but they just don't understand what hunting is all about.

Deer season (firearm) opens Nov. 30. This is an excellent time to get your blind or tree stand ready for occupancy.

If you can get yourself 6 to 10 feet off the ground, the probability of successfully bringing home venison is increased greatly. Deer are not concerned about predators from above. They mostly look straight ahead and down.

The problem with tree stands is that they are dangerous. About one-third of huntingaccidents involve tree stands. In most cases you haven't climbed a tree in years and your tree-climbing muscles are a bit rusty and your balance is not what it used to be.

Try to keep your tree stand only 10 to 12 feet off the ground so you can better survive when you fall asleep and fall out of it -- a common occurrence.

Always use a rope to haul up and lower your unloaded rifle or shotgun. Then tie yourself into the stand. Let people know exactly where your stand is so they can find you as you lie helpless with a broken something or other. And use an unreasonable amount of caution; don't let an accident spoil your fun.

Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena. His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in the Anne Arundel County Sun.

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