Wild stories make for crowded field


December 30, 2007|By CANDUS THOMSON

With a few ticks left on the clock, it's an iffy proposition to pick the strangest outdoors stories of the year.

I mean, what happens if Diamond Jim, the Howard Hughes of Maryland striped bass, gets reeled in tomorrow?

Not likely. Old DJ probably was snapped up by a Virginia angler down at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and is a candidate for freezer burn right now.

Let the games begin.

Like mother, like ...

Debbie Bitter was southbound on Route 213, heading for Centreville in her Chevy TrailBlazer on the evening of Nov. 9.

Several miles away on the Eastern Shore, her daughter Morgan Baker was behind the wheel of her Nissan Xterra on Route 544, just outside Crumpton.

Bitter swerved to miss a deer standing in the road. The buck bounced off her SUV, making a softball-sized dent near the headlight before running into a field. Just then, her cell phone rang, but all the evasive maneuvering caused the phone to slip off the front seat and beyond Bitter's reach.

When Bitter got home, she saw Baker had left a message on the answering machine.

The message? Baker had hit a nine-point buck at almost the same time her mother did. The only difference was the deer and Baker's SUV didn't fare as well.

"It was kind of freaky," Bitter said in an understatement.

Make it a Bud Light

A bull moose walks into a bar ... Well, not exactly, but close enough.

A very large moose, wandering the streets of Anchorage, Alaska, last month, tangled with the Christmas light display in a downtown park. While pulling free, the moose's antlers snagged a string of lights.

Shaken, the animal took refuge in the front yard of Bernie's Bungalow Lounge, a downtown bar, and proceeded to get -- well -- lit, nibbling on a tree full of fermented crab apples.

Glassy-eyed and wobbly, it stared off into space, oblivious to the paparazzi and bar patrons around him.

Buzzwinkle, as dubbed by the Anchorage Daily News, shook free from its hangover and the string of lights to continue wandering the streets.

"These country moose can't always hold their liquor," state biologist Rick Sinnott said.


From an honest-to-goodness Nov. 6 news release:

"Eternal Reefs, the only company in the United States to offer underwater `green' burial at sea, establishes its 12th memorial reef location in the Chesapeake Bay in partnership with Maryland's Saltwater Sportfisherman's Association and the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative.

"Located in the Upper Chesapeake Bay between Annapolis and Baltimore, the Memorial Stadium reef site is already home to more than 600 reef balls cast by local schools, educational and scouting organizations and have been placed by the MSSA and Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Eternal Reefs will make its first dedication of memorial reefs in the spring of 2008.

"We look forward to providing the opportunity to those people who have enjoyed the Chesapeake and wish to have their memorials be a permanent, living contribution to the improvement and protection of the Chesapeake Bay marine environment," said George Frankel of Eternal Reefs.

That's a big 'un

A 13-year-old Dutch boy reeled in more than he bargained for in August while surf casting in the North Sea: scuba diver Wim van Huffelen.

"I heard a sound on my head and immediately felt a jerk on my lip," the diver told the newspaper, De Telegraaf.

Grabbing the line, van Huffelen surfaced with the lure attached to his lower lip, much to the dismay of the angler and onlookers.

Van Huffelen rushed to a doctor in the town of Zierikzee, who practiced the medical version of catch and release. No word on what kind of lure was used.

Tour de Lobster

Unicycle racing. If you are of a certain age and were raised on The Ed Sullivan Show, that mental image alone is pretty funny.

Now, think relay race, 500 miles around Nova Scotia.

That's the Tour de Lobster, a five-day endurance test in June for more than 100 endurance unicyclists from 17 countries, 17 American states and eight Canadian provinces.

Organizer Edward Wedler, of Greenwood, Nova Scotia, calls the June 16-20 competition the "Tour de France" for unicyclists.

Wedler thinks the race will be a dandy way to promote tourism in his home province -- shaped like a lobster (if you've been eating fermented crab apples, maybe).

Competitors will carry a baton with a GPS transmitting device to allow race officials to keep things on the up-and-up and allow folks to follow on the Internet (ridethelobster.com).

No one from Maryland has qualified yet. What gives?

Buddy plan

Finally, if you have grown tired of watching football on the tube this holiday season, try watching Capt. Buddy Harrison on YouTube.

That's right, the self-described "Boss Hogg" of Tilghman Island -- and judge-convicted fish and goose poacher -- is the star of a nearly five-minute video complete with bling and undulating bikini-clad babes.

Go to YouTube and search for "Buddy Harrison."


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