Antlerless deer harvest increases by 9 percent


March 28, 1997|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Maryland deer hunters, on the strength of a record bow kill and an extended modern firearms season, produced a take of 61,735 deer in the 1996-1997 seasons, the second highest on record.

The record was set in 1995-1996 when 61,949 deer were killed by hunters.

"Although the total number of deer taken remained relatively unchanged when compared to the 1995-1996 harvest, the number of antlerless deer in the total harvest increased nine percent this season," said John R. Griffin, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

The increased antlerless harvest was primarily a result of the two-day extended antlerless deer firearms season that was held during January in 18 Maryland counties.

According to wildlife managers, reducing the number of antlerless deer in the state's herd is the most effective method of slowing or reducing the number of deer in the state.

Bowhunters set a record for the number of deer taken during their 1996-1997 season, with 13,588.

The modern firearms kill was 39,048, slightly below the record of 39,721 set in 1995. The muzzleloader season also was slightly below 1995, with 9,099 compared to 9,831.

Trout season

Tomorrow is opening day for many put-and-take trout areas across the state, with properly licensed anglers allowed to take as many as five stocked trout per day.

One of the most popular areas is Deer Creek in Harford County, where hundreds of anglers fish the areas of Rocks State Park. This year, however, construction has closed the popular parking lots at the Wilson's Picnic Area.

To assist anglers, park staffers will run a shuttle bus from the Rock Ridge parking lot on opening day from 5: 30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Parking along Route 24, St. Clair Bridge Road and at the Hills Grove Picnic Area will be available as in past years.

Changes proposed

DNR is proposing changes to non-tidal fishing regulations for 1998, and has scheduled a series of public meetings to discuss the proposals and the overall state of the resource.

Among the changes being proposed are:

Including the Patapsco River from I-70 downstream to Route 144 under catch-and-return bass stream regulations;

Adding Howards Pond in Cecil County to the list of put-and-take trout fishing areas;

Raising the minimum size limit for largemouth bass in Clopper Lake (Montgomery County) from 10 inches to the statewide minimum of 12 inches;

And amending the dates for delayed harvest trout fishing areas. Catch and release would be from Oct. 1 through June 15 instead of Jan. 1 through June 15. Open season would be June 16 through Sept. 30 instead of June 16 through Dec. 31.

The five meetings scheduled:

Wednesday, 7 p.m., Urbana Elementary School, Urbana, Frederick County.

April 8, 7 p.m., Frostburg State College, Frostburg, Allegany County.

April 16, 7 p.m., Natural Resources Police offices, Hillsboro, Queen Anne's County.

April 24, 7 p.m., Patapsco Valley State Park, Hollofield Headquarters, Ellicott City.

April 28, 7 p.m., Cedarville Natural Resources Area, Visitors Center, Cedarville, Prince George's County.

Pub Date: 3/28/97

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