Public lands are secret for bowhunting


September 19, 1996|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Bow season is perhaps the most challenging discipline for deer hunters, with safe, efficient hunts requiring more planning and better accuracy than either the modern firearms or black powder seasons.

Jim Roy, formerly a taxidermist in Anne Arundel County and who has taken two Maryland record whitetails with a bow, has written a book that details how and when to hunt efficiently -- and why his strategies work.

Roy's "Real World Whitetail Behavior" (Derrydale Press, Inc., Box 411, Lyon, Miss., 38645) is not just another hunter's recollections of nights in deer camp and days on the hunt.

Rather, it is a guide to finding, patterning and successfully hunting deer -- especially big bucks -- and in the process Roy blows away some of the commonly held beliefs about where, when, why and how deer pass through their life cycle.

Roy, a Vietnam combat veteran who has hunted deer exclusively in the Eastern United States and Canada, has taken 85 trophy whitetails over 37 years, including 27 that have dressed out at more than 200 pounds.

According to Roy, his two state record whitetail still are the heaviest ever taken by bow in Maryland.

"I know that sounds like a mouthful," Roy said recently from his home in West Virginia, where he moved after retiring from behavioral studies of deer for the Smithsonian Institute Environmental Center. "But I have been hunting and studying deer all my life, and I believe I know what I am doing.

"And what might make it seem even more incredible is that I hunt almost exclusively on public lands."

Roy's attitude is that hunting has become a social affair, in which the acquisition of meat for the table is secondary to talking a good game.

"Hunting stories became modern man's law of nature," Roy writes, "and the primitive, simple survival type of hunting was lost. And that is what this book is all about: a simple, common-sense method of hunting that I call 'survival hunting.' "

In essence, Roy has done the field work for those who can't spend every spare moment out of season scouting and every day in season hunting.

"Even hunting on public land, where conditions often are not ideal, I have proved that you can take quality deer," Roy said. "It's a matter of finding the right place and being there at the right time."

"Real World Whitetail Behavior" is the latest in the "Whitetail Secrets" from Derrydale Press. Autographed copies are available from Roy by writing him at Route 3, Box 250E, Berkeley Springs, W.Va., 25411. Enclose $19.95 and $2.50 for shipping and handling.

Fishing updates

Upper Chesapeake Bay: Chumming for rockfish at Swan Point bar and Love Point light continues to be very good. Eels drifted over oyster or clam beds, humps or edges of deep holes also has been productive from the mouth of the Chester River to Pooles Island and in pockets of deeper water from the Susquehanna Flats to the mouth of the Magothy, including the Patapsco River. Mouth of the Magothy, Bay Bridge pilings and the lower Chester all are good for white perch. Good catfishing throughout the region on shallower edges. In the Susquehanna River, white perch action picking up in deeper sections, smallmouth bass action very good around the islands, and catfishing excellent.

Middle Chesapeake Bay: From Deale to the Silver Ball, rockfish action for trollers along the 35-foot contour, as well as from Breezy Point to the Radar Towers. Still some decent chumming action at the Gas Docks, off the mouth of the West River, the Hill, Stone Rock and north of Poplar Island (rising tide). Mouth of the Patuxent River also a good choice for trollers, with Cedar Point side the best choice. Lower Chesapeake Bay: Rockfish, bluefish to 6 pounds and spanish mackerel are targets of chummers along eastern edge of shipping channel from Buoy 72 to American Mariner wreck, and along western edge near Point No Point. Sea trout on the Middle Grounds in good numbers, and flounder along the deeper edges.

Ocean City: Snapper blues active throughout the back bays, at the inlet and in the surf. Flounder fishing reported to be fair, with edges north of Route 50 bridge favored. Sea trout numbers apparently increasing in back bays, with the Fenwick Ditch and Thorofare producing sea trout to 4 pounds in the evening. Inlet piers offering a mixed bag of stripers, blues, sea trout and flounder. Offshore, trolled ballyhoo have produced yellowfin tuna and some white marlin from the 30-fathom line out. Loch Raven Reservoir: With temperatures dropping, largemouth bass feeding more actively around grass beds and crappie action better in cove mouths.

Liberty Reservoir: Bass action on pigs-n-jigs in 12 feet or less of water. Crappie action good around the beaver huts. Striper action hit or miss.

Piney Run Reservoir: Good crappie fishing around brush piles and beaver huts.

Prettyboy Reservoir: Rocky points good for smallmouth bass. White perch densely schooled and moving.

Deep Creek Lake: Smallmouth action good on rocky points in 12 to 15 feet of water. Some walleye action and trout activity near the dam.

Upper Potomac: River levels were dropping, but mid-week rains make conditions uncertain. For river conditions, call (703) 260-0305.

Pub Date: 9/19/96

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