Record set in spring turkey season


July 11, 1993|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Staff Writer

Hunters in Maryland's 14 counties open for the spring turkey season this year set a record by taking 1,326 birds between April 17 and May 15.

In 1990, when only seven counties were open for the spring season, the take was 1,121 birds. In 1992, with 12 full counties open, the take was 1,209.

While the kill has increased slightly as new hunting areas have been opened, the wild turkey population in the state seems able to absorb the losses.

In 1972, the Department of Natural Resources estimated there were 2,000 wild turkeys in Maryland. DNR's current estimate is a wild population of 15,000.

"This increase in wild turkeys is due mainly to the DNR Wildlife Division's trap and transplant program that began in 1965," said DNR Secretary Torrey C. Brown. "As a result of this increase, Maryland's wild turkey hunting program has increased in popularity and so has the harvest of wild turkeys."

This year, part of Wicomico and all of Caroline County were opened to the spring hunt.

The average weight of birds taken was 17 pounds, and approximately 35 percent of the kill was juvenile birds.

Topic: black bears

For several years, the population of black bears in Maryland has been discussed by landowners, preservationists and hunters. This month, DNR has scheduled two open houses to bring all interested parties up to speed on the status of the black bear in the state.

The open house format is designed to allow DNR staff to meet with all concerned parties in the absence of the pressure that often accompanies traditional public meetings and hearings on wildlife management proposals or regulations.

At the two sessions, DNR will present the results of a recently completed public survey on black bears in Maryland, discuss its telemetry and tagging equipment and research methods and explain the goals of its black bear education program.

Public input is invited on Maryland's Black Bear Management plan.

The meetings, each of which will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., will be held at the Seneca Creek State Park visitor center in Gaithersburg (Montgomery County) on Thursday and at the Mount Nebo Wildlife Management Area in Oakland (Garrett County) on July 22.

Rock climbing

Chris Warner of Ellicott City has led mountaineering expeditions in far corners of the world, but also is teaching introductory-to-advanced rock climbing and Earth Treks on weekends this summer and fall. Warner has experience as an Outward Bound leader and works well with all age groups. Earth Treks may be reached by calling (410) 465-5492.

America's Cup update

Team Dennis Conner and Pact '95 recently satisfied the America's Cup '95 organizers that their financial backing is sound and are considered viable challengers to defend the Cup off San Diego in 1995.

By July 1, each defense syndicate was required to post $150,000 cash or an equivalent performance bond and prove assets of $6 million in cash or pledges.

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