Hunter Orange law is a bright idea

OUTDOORS

November 01, 1992|By LONNY WEAVER

Maryland law requires that hunters or anyone accompanying them must wear fluorescent orange clothing.

It must be a solid fluorescent orange hat, a vest or jacket with front and back panels sporting at least 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange or "an outer garment of camouflage fluorescent orange worn above the waist that contains at least 50 percent daylight fluorescent orange color."

Exceptions to the Hunter Orange law are people who own their own property, a bowhunter during the bow season and participants on hunts for waterfowl, crow, dove, turkey or fur-bearers such as fox or coyote.

I hate walking around the countryside looking like an armed neon pumpkin. But if I knew for sure that flashing pink lights attached to a blaze-orange bodysuit would keep me alive in the hunting field, I would comply.

Keeping you alive is exactly what hunter orange accomplishes.

It is amazing how many hunters resist wearing this life-saving material. I put in quite a few hours bird hunting each year and can't begin to recount the times blaze orange has helped me avoid potential danger situations.

A lot of upland hunting is done in thick, low-visibility cover. Keeping track of your hunting buddy's location demands the ultra-visible orange.

Of all the possible colors, fluorescent orange is the most easily seen and recognized bright color against natural backgrounds and in all light and weather conditions.

Many hunters participating in the traditional modern firearms hunt wear only the minimum amount of orange -- a hat. They ignore safety facts because they cling to the belief that color frightens game, when in fact, most animals -- most notably deer -- are colorblind.

A knowledgeable hunter knows that it is usually movement thatcatches an animal's attention and not color.

New Zealand angling

This month's meeting of the Free State Fly Fishers will be at the Hillsmere Elementary School in Annapolis tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. The meeting's featured speaker, David Rickenbocker, will make a presentation on fishing in New Zealand.

Saltwater sportsmen

The Maryland Saltwater Sportsmen's Association has a number of area chapters that meet regularly and commonly feature expert advice in presentations.

The Annapolis chapter meets the third Wednesday of each month at the Liberty Yacht Club at 7:30 p.m. Call (410) 647-7625 for details.

The Chesapeake Beach Chapter gets together the second Wednesday of each month at American Legion Hall Stallings Williams Post at 7:30 pm. Call Brett Noone at (410) 261-5854 for details.

The Pasadena Chapter also meets the second Wednesday of each month at the Maurgale Inn on Nabbs Creek Road. Call Orville Green at (410) 768-4070 for details.

Turkey season starts Thursday

The fall turkey hunt gets under way Thursday and continues through Nov. 10 west of Interstate 81 in Western Maryland. This is becoming an increasingly popular season for Maryland

hunters.

Hunters took 360 birds during last fall's hunt, and about the same number are expected to be brought home for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Statewide, we have about 12,000 turkeys, and the Department of Natural Resources turkey stocking program is a real shinning star in wildlife management.

More than 260 wild turkeys were relocated in the past four years. Last year, Anne Arundel County got birds and they are reported to be doing well.

Plant inexpensive trees

All kinds of tree seedlings are available at cost from the DNR's Buckingham Forest Tree Nursery in Harmans. The minimum order for coniferous species, such as loblolly pine, is 250 seedlings. For hardwoods, the minimum order is 100 seedlings. Prices range from $7 to $30 per hundred plus shipping.

Wildlife packets, which include two white pine, two sawtooth oak, two crab-apple and two bicolor lespedeza, are available to landowners at $4 each.

Landowners may order one to 10 packets when placing a seedling order. Otherwise the minimum order is five packets. These wildlife packets are available for resale to service organizations at a reduced price.

Call (800) TREESMD (873-3763) for order forms or more details.

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