Just-opened deer season could be record-breaker

CARROLL OUTDOORS

November 26, 1995|By Lonny Weaver | Lonny Weaver,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The modern firearms deer season got under way yesterday and will continue through Dec. 9. You can expect another record-smashing tally.

During last year's rifle season, Carroll hunters bagged 1,091 antlered bucks and 412 does. I look for this year's tally to top 1,600. Whitetails are running all over this county. Last year Carroll County had 169 deer killed by autos, and I understand from Department of Natural Resources authorities, that number probably will be exceeded in 1995.

This is always one of the top deer counties because so much land is dedicated to agriculture, yet deer kill numbers are held down because of limited land access to hunters. One-quarter of the county (more than 69,000 acres) is forested.

The result is quality-sized deer averaging 112 pounds. The average buck carries a five-point rack with an average beam diameter of .85 inches. By comparison, an Allegany County average buck hits 93 pounds and has a four-point rack with a beam diameter of .7 inches.

Fall rockfishing ends

I wrapped up 1995's fall striped bass season fishing with Gordon Hagerich last Saturday. The rockfishing was great throughout the fall, with the only debit being a run of foul weather weekends beginning in October and continuing right up to the final whistle. Dangerous winds on the Chesapeake caused me to cancel seven trips -- the most ever in a year for this sportsman. But, when the weather cooperated, the fishing was all I could ask for.

Hagerich, who said that he lost quite a bit of charter business because of high winds, still claims that his charters accounted for "over 350 legal rock and at least that many under 18 inches that we had to throw back."

The new June-July season was the highlight of my striped bassin' for 1995. The weather was great and every trip I took seemed to be better than the one before.

If you are interested in meeting local saltwater anglers and learning more about Chesapeake Bay and off-shore Atlantic Ocean fishing opportunities, make it a point to attend a meeting of the Carroll County Chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfisherman's Association. The next meeting will be Jan. 17 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Beaver Run Rod and Gun Club.

Two local freshwater striped bass hot spots were Liberty Reservoir, which separates Baltimore and Carroll counties, and Piney Run Reservoir, near Eldersburg. Piney Run has managed to make quite a name for itself among freshwater striped bass fans, but keep a close eye on Liberty these next few years.

Some huge stripers were pulled from Liberty throughout the spring, summer and fall. I know of a number that were in the 20-pound and better class. These fish were caught by trollers as well as shoreline bait casters. In early October, something huge hit and broke off a 1.5-ounce Mann Dancer that Doug Manes and I were trolling within sight of the lower Liberty Road Bridge.

Local trout club to meet

Bob Lunsford of the Maryland DNR will give a new slide presentation on fly fishing throughout Maryland at the Dec. 14 meeting of the Patapsco Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited beginning at 7 p.m. The club meets at the Bear Branch Nature Center at the Hashawha Environmental Center.

Children's hunting book

"When Pappy Goes Hunting," written by Kurt Bonello and illustrated by Christi Bonello is the only children's book I am aware of that portrays hunting in a positive manner. The 24-page, fully illustrated book is written for children aged 3 to 7.

If you would like to see a copy, visit the Carroll County Public Library, where you will find 10 copies donated by the Maryland Deer Hunters Association.

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