The modern firearms season for deer in Maryland opened yesterday, and before the two-week season closes Dec. 11, state game managers expect another record kill from a herd that numbers more than 160,000.
But, while shotgun and rifle hunters probably will kill some 35,000 deer, Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division director Joshua Sandt said that about 77 percent of successful gun hunters will take only one deer, even though the herd size could withstand a larger harvest.
Sandt said that many hunters take only one deer because one is all they need for their family table.
"So it is a conservation move on the part of many hunters," Sandt said, "but in some areas of the state, where the deer population is growing too fast, it might be better if some of these better hunters took more than one deer -- and the Hunters Harvestshare program provides good use for the meat."
The Harvestshare program, developed by the Maryland Deer Hunters Association, is a network of meat processors across the state who have agreed to provide freezer space to store venison donated by hunters.
The venison donated by hunters is then donated to the Maryland Food Bank for distribution to soup kitchens, shelters and charities in the state.
Last year, the program provided more than 10,000 pmunds of venison to the needy from donations in bow, firearms and black-powder seasons. This year's target is 30,000 pounds.
"DNR encourages every hunter who is skillful enough to harvest a deer this season to take part in the Hunters Harvestshare program," said Dr. Torrey C. Brown, secretary of DNR.
For more information on the donation program, call the MDHA at (410) 922-5549.
Boating season extended
George C. Balog, director of Baltimore's Department of Public Works, has extended the boating season at Liberty and Prettyboy reservoirs from Tuesday to Dec. 15, weather permitting. While fishing will be permitted during the extension, the ban on live aquatic bait remains in effect.
Whitbread heads south
At the middle of last week, the fleet in the Whitbread Round the World Race was well into Southern Ocean weather, with regular sightings of icebergs as the leaders approach Bouvet Island, an uninhabited Norwegian dependency at 54 degrees south latitude.
New Zealand Endeavor is the overall leader, with Merit Cup second in the Maxi division. Among the Whitbread 60 class, Intrum Justitia is in first place. Winston, the boat put together by American Dennis Conner, is in fifth place, and The Women's Challenge is running in eighth.
The Women's Challenge, however, had dropped to average only 7.3 knots over one six-hour period, an indication of possible sail damage.
Scott recognized for service
The United States Sailing Association has presented its top award, the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, to C. Gaither Scott of Annapolis for outstanding contributions to offshore racing in this country.
Scott, past commodore of the Annapolis Yacht Club, was termed the benchmark for an award reserved for those who demonstrate the highest level of service to sailing.
The USSA also announced that James P. Muldoon, who races the celebrated Donnybrook, has been elected a vice president of the organization and that Thomas Closs Jr. of Arnold has been elected to the board of directors to represent Area C.
A fact box in yesterday's editions of The Sun incorrectly listed the season limit for deer during firearms season. The basic limit ,, is one deer for the season. Hunters who buy bonus deer stamps may take more than one deer. The Sun regrets the error.