By and large, hunters are a silent minority these days, a small, diverse portion of the population that continues fall and winter traditions without fanfare or outcry.
The state's Wildlife Advisory Commission would like that silent minority to speak up for at least one day at the first Hunter Heritage Conference, which will be held Saturday at Annapolis High School.
"The advisory commission needed a method through which it could foster an increased level of communication with hunters and outdoorsmen from all areas of the state," said Ken D'Loughy of the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Division.
"The commission members felt that, although hunters might know their names from the state hunting guide, they need the opportunity to meet with the commission."
And to speak their minds on the issues that affect hunters and hunting in the state -- hunter ethics, image and landowner relations, public land management and accessibility, and what the prospects are for the future.
"The commission felt these issues really needed to be addressed," said D'Loughy, who is helping to coordinate the all-day conference, which is free and open to the public, "as well as the bad rap hunters and hunting have been taking from non-hunters."
While the conference is aimed at hunters, D'Loughy said, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds are welcome and encouraged to take part in work groups and open discussions.
"The idea is to build a bridge between the commission members and the people they speak for," D'Loughy said. "Hopefully when ZTC this conference is over, we will have sportsmen around the state who want to take an active part in how the program works."
The conference opens at 9 a.m., includes a free lunch and closes at 4: 30 p.m. Morning sessions are scheduled on ethics, image and landowner relations. Afternoon session will focus on public land management programs and where the future might leave the hunters.
Pre-registration is requested through regional Wildlife and Heritage Division offices.
Annapolis High School is located at 2700 Riva Road in Annapolis.
Trout stamp contest
Stephen Perrine, an art teacher at Atholton High School in Howard County, has won the annual Maryland Trout Stamp Design Contest, with Gold Rush, a painting of brown trout.
Perrine also won the contest in 1984 and 1989.
Weatherly and Eagle
Weatherly and American Eagle, two America's Cup 12-meter racing yachts, arrive in Annapolis tomorrow to open a series of benefit match races through Nov. 1.
According to organizers of the race series, which will benefit the John Gardner School of Boatbuilding in Eastport, many of the race days have been filled by chartering parties, but some slots remain.
For more information on the race series or charters, call (410) 267-0418.
Pub Date: 10/20/96