The opening day tally was 12,582, about 3,000 below last year, and no more counts will be made until Monday, as opposed to daily counts previously. The new procedure is a cost-savings measure in light of state budgetary woes.
* Today: Close of the final phase of the Virginia rockfish season.
* Monday: Reopening of Maryland Canada goose season; bag limit will be two a day. Brant season also opens this date, with a bag of two. Also reopening are the woodcock and snipe hunts.
* Tuesday: Opening of the final duck season, including black ducks.
Names and places ...
* Nearly half of Garrett County's successful hunters who hTC check in their deer are applying for the $5 second (bonus) deer stamps, which incidentally are also available statewide in other counties, and also for bow and muzzleloader seasons. But there's a catch -- which can easily be solved by the Department of Natural Resources in its future publication of the Guide to Hunting and Trapping issued with licenses.
It should be made much more evident that the bonus stamp is not valid on the day the first deer is killed. Though there are many references to the bonus program in the guide, which explains the stamp is good for a second deer, it does not make that restriction plain. One must find the section that lists the bag limit at one deer a day, and understand it means just that -- extra stamp or not. There is much confusion over this, and it's the biggest question asked at checking stations.
* If you can manage to get away, Francis Connor of Joppatowne reports the best surf fishing of his life last week near Oregon Inlet, N.C., where he took blues of 12 to 18 pounds. The fishing was so hectic he couldn't count them -- and local tackle shops told him the run is expected to continue until Christmas.
* Maybe Garrett County doesn't have the biggest deer, but it has an abundance. Among area hunters who scored thereabouts (from Baltimore unless otherwise listed): Mark A. Scheeler, Severna Park, 7 points, 107 pounds; Kenneth Hamilton, Street, doe-92; Kevin Hamilton, Street, 6-88; Alvin Bird Jr., doe-100; Andrew Fackett, 2-91; Baxter Shields, 6-101; John H. Brand, Glen Burnie, 8-111; Frank L. Moran, Pasadena, 2-96; Carl East, doe-74; Mark Dedra, doe-83.
Also, Donald Mohr, Fallston, button buck, 56; Charles Marzullo, Reisterstown, doe-96; Glen Yoeder, Parkton, 2-96; Charles Lilly, doe-95; Michael Huber, 5-95; Philip Ray, Ellicott City, 1-88; Charles Grebe, Fallston, doe-49; Dorsey Himmel, Aberdeen, 4-97; Joseph Richardson, Edgewater, 5-97; James McDuffie, button buck-53; Kenneth Cody, doe-84; Mark Poole, 3-80; Roy Comp, Joppa, doe-49; David Sines, 2-70; Paul Hamlin, 3-95; Arnold Schultz, doe-100; James Hamilton, 2-82; Donald E. West, Ellicott City, 2-115; Milton Arczynski, 3-85; William Orndorf, Pasadena, doe-60.
And, Charles Baker, Arnold, doe-50; Robert S. Poole, Edgewater, 5-90; John O. Melig, Catonsville, 6-83; Robert Evans, Parkville, doe-56; Martin J. Brandes, doe-84; Gary Nielson, 4-94; Jay Carpenter, 2-91; Gary Smith, doe-81; Charles Smith, doe-83; Jerome Johnson, Bel Air, doe-91; Frederick Schulz, 2-85; Allen Blachowicz, 2-94; Kevin Johnson, doe-81; Francis Dzieichowicz, Baltimore, 3-81; Vera Dobbins, 2-106; Brian Hopkins, 1-point, not weighed; Michael Muldoon, Glen Dale, doe-81.
* Baltimorean Tick Smith wasn't apologetic when checking in a field dressed 49-pound antlerless deer in Allegany County the other day. That's what he was after. "Deer of that size are the tastiest and most tender -- and I hunt for the table," said Smith. Incidentally, deer of that size provide nearly 25 pounds of venison. A 100-pounder on the hoof yields about 50 pounds of edible venison; a 175-pounder, 75 pounds.
* If you're heading to Pennsylvania to try for a big buck before that season ends Dec. 14 be advised they play hardball there with poachers. Four Massachusetts hunters were fined a total of $20,500 for taking deer illegally. They only took choice cuts, and discarded the rest.
* Garrett County led the pack in bowhunter kill going into the modern firearms season. As of Nov. 29 bowmen were taking deer at a record setting pace, and will set a record when hunting resumes statewide Monday (it resumed Tuesday in Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico counties). The bow season was off to a slow start on the Eastern Shore because of warm weather woes involving mosquitoes. The count: