Maryland deer hunters post record kill of 51,593

OUTDOORS

April 13, 1995|By PETER BAKER

This hunting season, Maryland deer hunters spent more than 1 million days in the field, funneled more than $200 million into the state economy and killed a record number of deer, according to John R. Griffin, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

In 13 counties the total kill was above the 1993 figures, which totaled 51,234 compared with 51,593 this past season.

Although the modern firearms kill of 32,758 was down from 34,251 in 1993, bow and muzzleloader hunters recorded higher totals than last season.

Bow hunters took 11,316 deer, 65 more than in 1993.

Muzzleloader hunters, who this past season hunted the first of two experimental, three-day October sessions, increased their take by nearly 45 percent. The October and December seasons produced takes of 7,519 compared to 5,178 in 1993.

That Maryland has produced record hunting totals for deer in two consecutive years speaks well for deer management and hunting practices, including recent limitations placed on killing antlerless deer in Western Maryland.

After unregulated market hunting and habitat destruction through the last couple of centuries had decimated the state's population of white-tailed deer, Maryland initiated regulated deer seasons in 1931. That first year, 65 white-tailed deer were taken, according to DNR figures.

The take this past year was almost 800 times that number -- and in many parts of the state the deer population continues to expand despite the increased kill.

Big Elk Creek trout

Noting that Big Elk Creek in Cecil County was a big hit on the opening day of put-and-take trout season, Bob Lunsford, director of DNR's Freshwater Fisheries Division, said recently that an additional 3,000 rainbow trout will be stocked there during the closure period April 16-22.

On opening day, Lunsford said, more than 600 fishermen showed up to fish for the 1,250 trout that had been stocked in the creek.

The rainbows will be stocked in addition to the 1,500 brown trout previously scheduled to be stocked during the second closure period.

Six miles of Big Elk Creek flows through Fairhill Natural Resource Management Area, and the stretch is open to public fishing year around -- except for the two spring trout stocking closures.

In addition to stocked trout, the creek also holds smallmouth bass and sunfish.

FISHING REPORT

Area reservoirs -- At Liberty, Prettyboy, Loch Raven and Piney Run, crappie and bluegills are moving into the shallows, where shoreline fishermen can get a shot at them. Decent white perch action at Prettyboy and Loch Raven. Some rockfish action at Liberty and Piney Run, which also has been stocked with trout.

Eastern shore -- Upper Chester and upper Choptank still showing runs of white perch, although many are smaller fish. Also catfish and some crappie. Perch and catfish in the Martinak State Park area of the Choptank; catfish, white perch, bass and crappie in the Denton area. Crappie and bass in the Marshyhope near Federalsburg; pickerel, perch and crappie in the Tuckahoe.

Susquehanna River -- White perch, catfish and herring in the river below Conowingo Dam. In the Duncannon area in Pennsylvania, smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent, although water levels are dropping.

Potomac River (upper) -- Catfish, walleye and crappie action, but smallmouth bass fishing has been superb despite low seasonal water levels. Bass bunched in slackwater below rock ledges or other substantial current breaks.

Potomac River (D.C. area and upper tidal) -- Largemouth bass have been hit or miss, depending on the barometric changes as weather fronts pass through. In the creek mouths, try emerging grass beds along the north shores, where waters should be warmer. White perch action on the humps in the river downstream from Columbia Island and crappie in the Columbia Island marina. Lots of rockfish around, too, but they must be released.

Ocean City -- Mackerel run continues, with fish within 10 miles of the beach and expected to move in closer through the weekend.

1994 DEER KILL

The county-by-county breakdown of the number of deer killed in each of the following seasons in 1994:

County ..... Firearms .. Muzzleloader .. Bow ... Total

Allegany ... 2,210 ........ 451 ........ 722 ... 3,383

Anne Arundel.. 767 ........ 227 ........ 381 ... 1,375

Baltimore .. 1,449 ........ 469 ........ 921 ... 2,839

Calvert ...... 539 ........ 140 ........ 178 ..... 857

Caroline ..... 745 ........ 153 ........ 183 ... 1,081

Carroll .... 2,090 ........ 498 ........ 918 ... 3,506

Cecil ...... 1,521 ........ 248 ........ 347 ... 2,116

Charles .... 1,541 ........ 516 ........ 467 ... 2,524

Dorchester.. 2,532 ........ 387 ........ 387 ... 3,306

Frederick .. 2,169 ........ 576 ........ 901 ... 3,646

Garrett .... 2,217 ........ 536 ...... 1,101 ... 3,854

Harford .... 1,461 ........ 240 ........ 748 ... 2,449

Howard ....... 636 ........ 223 ........ 382 ... 1,241

Kent ....... 1,819 ........ 405 ........ 580 ... 2,804

Montgomery.. 1,159 ........ 350 ........ 572 ... 2,081

Pr. George's.. 616 ........ 169 ........ 190 ..... 975

Queen Anne's 1,534 ........ 350 ........ 423 ... 2,307

St. Mary's ... 970 ........ 310 ........ 311 ... 1,591

Somerset ..... 999 ........ 152 ........ 145 ... 1,296

Talbot ....... 974 ........ 188 ........ 190 ... 1,352

Washington.. 2,200 ........ 577 ........ 828 ... 3,605

Wicomico ... 1,049 ........ 142 ........ 161 ... 1,352

Worcester .. 1,561 ........ 212 ........ 280 ... 2,053

Totals .... 32,758 ...... 7,519 ..... 11,316 .. 51,593

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