Dove action remains above average

OUTDOORS

September 18, 1994|By LONNY WEAVER

I had a really good dove shoot last weekend with Jim Keith and Eric Clay of Pasadena. This was my third consecutive above-average dove hunt since the season began Sept. 1.

Before last weekend, Wayne Albaugh and I enjoyed some great mourning dove action in Carroll County by shooting over recently chopped cornfields.

This last hunt with Keith and Clay was in a gravel pit bordered by a combination of standing sunflowers and silage cut corn at a spot near Bristol, in the southern portion of Anne Arundel County.

We gunned this same spot last year and managed to get our limits in under two hours. This time it took a little longer. The shooting came in spurts -- hot as fire for a few minutes, then not much of anything to shoot at for 15 minutes or so.

All three of us managed to shoot rather well. Each of us carried the same Winchester AA 12-gauge trap load throwing 1 1/8 -ounce of #8 shot. Clay opted to shoot a skeet-choked Browing over/under, Keith was handling a Remington 1100 auto-loader choked modified and I carried a Ruger Red Label Sporting Clays stacked barrel model with skeet and modified choke tubes installed.

The only reports of so-so dove action to reach me so far have been centered in Cecil and Kent counties.

Historically this weekend and, if the weather holds, next weekend usually offer the best resident dove shooting of the year. The first cold fronts of the fall will push some birds out of the area, and increased corn-cutting operations will thin the concentrations we are getting now.

Watch the weather forecasts carefully toward the end of the month. A cold front approaching from the north will push doves south into the state a couple of days before its arrival, and the shooting is often wild. You will be able to identify migrant doves that fall to your gun because they are generally smaller than resident birds.

We confined our shots to 40 yards and either shot sitting or standing only at the last possible moment and snapping off a charge in a fast, natural reflex manner.

Bow season starts

This year's deer bow season got under way Thursday and will continue through Nov. 25. The other dates are Dec. 12-16 and Jan. 2-31.

Last year Anne Arundel archers bagged 341 whitetails, of which 215 were antlered bucks. Twenty-four county bowhunters took two deer during the bow season.

To say that there are loads of whitetails throughout the county is an understatement.

In 1984, archers took 18 deer here, and 204 were taken by shotgun hunters during the modern firearms hunt. By the time bow, shotgun and muzzleloader hunters put away their equipment last January, 1,256 whitetails had been harvested in this county.

Anne Arundel County has five official deer checking stations: Cobe Marine and Sports Center (formerly Stammer's), 8936 Fort Smallwood Road, Pasadena; Marty's Sporting Goods, Mayo Road, Edgewater; On Target, 2618 Annapolis Road, Severn; South County Marine, 668 Deale Road, Deale; and Hunters Haven, 219 Thelma Ave., Glen Burnie.

All deer must be taken to one of the above stations or an authorized station in other counties within 24 hours after the kill.

Local fishing report

This year's fall striped bass (rockfish) season gets under way Saturday, and we have loads of them throughout the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay. Minimum size allowed is 18 inches.

Fishing for bluefish and mackerel remains good around the Stone Rock and good flounder fishing can be found in the same area plus around Buoy 3. Spotted trout and white perch are being caught around the mouth of the Choptank.

Above the Bay Bridges, the bluefish and Spanish mackerel fishing remains good to excellent off of Love Point, while some surprisingly good red drum catches were made this week south of Point Lookout, in the lower bay. The lower bay remains great for blues and mackerel.

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