Firearms deer hunting season might be extended two days

December 15, 1996|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Joshua Sandt, director of the state's Wildlife and Heritage Division, said Friday that game managers will decide tomorrow whether the firearms hunting season for deer will be continued for two days in January.

Unless yesterday turned out much better than expected, Sandt said, "There is a good likelihood the season will be continued, probably excluding the five western counties."

In Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties, the firearms season has been an effective tool in controlling the deer population.

In the other 18 counties of the state, however, bad weather through much of the two-week firearms season has hunting pressure and success rate well off the pace.

"For population control, you need to increase the take of antlerless deer," Sandt said.

In the western counties, the Department of Natural Resources limits the number of antlerless deer through permits because the deer population through most of those areas is fairly stable.

The extension, which would occur Jan. 10-11, would be limited to antlerless deer.

Hunters who have taken two deer during the firearms season that ended yesterday will not be eligible for the January hunt.

Sandt also said DNR will evaluate wildlife management areas to ensure that deer on those areas will not be over-hunted during the two-day extension.

"The key to controlling the [overall] population is the take on private land," Sandt said. "And we might have to close some WMAs to keep the public hunting pressure on them down."

Palm Beach Invitational

Defiance, a One Design 48 owned by Ken Morrell of Annapolis, finished first, first and second to win the Palm Beach (Fla.) Invitational Regatta last weekend and close out the class racing season.

Skippered by Terry Hutchinson, Defiance won an ocean race, finished first in one five-race series and second in a two-race series, to edge Abracadabra, sailed by America's Cup veteran John Kolius.

Pub Date: 12/15/96

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