New bonus deer plan in effect for bow season


September 17, 1998|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Bowhunting season for deer opened this week in Maryland and with it the state's new management plan went into effect, including larger bag limits and a new bonus deer stamp program.

Under the new plan, the state has been separated into four regions, each of which has its own bag limit. Under the previous management plan, one bag limit applied statewide. Now hunters will be allowed to hunt any or all four regions and take a limit of deer in each.

"During our statewide deer planning process, Maryland citizens told us that deer should be managed in consideration of Maryland's distinct habitats and landscapes, and the diverse public interests that exist across the state," said John R. Griffin, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. "[The] 1998-1999 deer hunting regulations reflect that philosophy."

The new deer hunting regulations are designed to stabilize deer populations, which are too large in many areas of the state. By creating the four regions, each with its own bag limit, game managers expect to be able to "tailor" deer kills for the needs of local communities.

Starting this year, bonus deer stamps will be valid only in the region for which they were purchased but can be used in any season -- bow, muzzleloader or firearms -- in the same hunting license year. The fee for a resident bonus deer stamp is $5; the nonresident fee has been increased to $25.

In parts of Western Maryland only (Region A), a limited number of bonus antlerless deer stamps will be available through a lottery drawing.

The regions and bow season bag limits:

Region A (Allegany, Garrett and Zone 2 of Washington counties) -- One antlered or antlerless deer. A second deer may be taken using either a bonus deer stamp or a bonus antlerless deer stamp. Total bow bag limit is two, but only one per day.

Region B (Carroll and Zone 1 in both Frederick and Washington counties) -- One antlered or antlerless deer, plus one with a bonus deer stamp. Second deer must be antlerless if the first was antlered and either sex if the first was antlerless. Total bow bag limit is two, only one of which may be antlered. One deer per day.

Region C (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Zone 2 of Frederick, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties) -- One antlered or antlerless deer, with three additional deer allowed with bonus stamps. No more than two antlered deer may be taken, and two antlerless deer must be taken before a second antlered deer is taken. Total bow bag limit is four. One deer per day in Frederick County; no daily limit in other counties in this region.

Region D (Calvert, Charles, Harford and St. Mary's counties and the Eastern Shore) -- One antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer, with three others possible with bonus stamps. Two antlerless deer must be taken before a second antlered deer is taken. Total bow bag limit is four, with no restrictions on how many may be taken in one day.

Multihull Expo this weekend

Saturday and Sunday, the Chesapeake Catamaran Center in Annapolis will hold the second Multihull Expo, including sailing demonstrations and seminars. Expo organizers will have 13 large new catamarans on display as well as a number of used cats.

The center is at 309 Third St. in the Eastport section of Annapolis. The expo opens at noon each day. For information, call 410-268-3700.

Fishing updates

Upper Chesapeake: DNR reports that drifting eels for rockfish is giving way to trolling or casting to breaking fish in many areas. Best bet could be trolling the 30- to 40-foot edges with bucktails, parachutes or umbrella rigs. For casters, the ratio of undersized rockfish to keepers is running about 10 to 1, according to DNR. Bluefish continue to be numerous but scattered as far north as Tolchester.

Middle Chesapeake: Chumming and trolling will provide better ratios of keeper rockfish, but it is hard to beat the sport of casting to breaking schools of blues to seven pounds. Rock and some Spanish mackerel moving through the area. Best trolling has been from Parkers Creek to Cove Point along the western side of the shipping channel, where rockfish to 34 inches are taken regularly. Chummers at the Summer Gooses, the Stone Rock, the Diamonds and the Hill continue to do well on a smaller grade of stripers. James Island and the edges in the mouth of the Choptank are good for spot. Edges of lower Eastern Bay and west of Poplar Island are still good for flounder, and there are plenty of breaking fish in Eastern Bay as well.

Lower Chesapeake: Bluefish, with many from five to 10 pounds, are concentrated along the edge of the shipping channel from Buoy 72 to the Eagle's Nest, and chummers have been doing very well for blues and stripers mixed in.

Ocean City inshore: The first big red drum have been taken from Assateague, including 46- and 48-inchers taken over the weekend on finger mullet. Larger rockfish have begun to move again at the Route 50 bridge and along the south jetty.

Ocean City offshore: Wahoo and yellowfin tuna are the best bets here, with larger yellowfin starting to work south along the 40- to 50-fathom line.

Pub Date: 9/17/98

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