Deer season opens with archers hoping for cooler temps
Archery hunting for white-tailed deer and sika deer got underway Friday, Sept. 9, and continues through Jan. 31. The bag limit for white-tailed bucks is one per weapon season. Maryland hunters in Region B, which includes our Mid-Shore region, have the option to take one additional bonus buck after purchasing a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp and taking two antlerless deer. The antlerless deer bag limits differ between regions.
The sika deer archery season bag limit is three with no more than one being antlered. An antlered sika is defined as a deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline. The sika deer season is now open in every county with the best results usually coming from Dorchester County.
“Archery hunting continues to be an effective part of our comprehensive deer management plan and is often the most effective control methods available in densely-populated suburban areas of Maryland,” said Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Ser vice Director Paul Peditto.
Archers help a lot in rural areas as well, providing recreation, resource management, good food, and some economic boost.
Deer hunters may har vest up to two antlered white-tailed deer within the yearly bag limit that do not meet the requirement of having at least three points on one antler. Any additional antlered deer taken within the established bag limit must meet the minimum point restriction. Licensed junior hunters are exempt from the restriction.
Hunters should check in deer taken with a long, compound, or recurve bow as harvested with a vertical bow. Crossbow hunters should register their deer as taken with a crossbow. The information helps biologists collect information on hunter preferences and trends in how deer are har vested.
Several Sundays are open to archery hunting in most counties, including on some public lands. Guidelines pertaining to Sunday hunting as well as bag limits, season dates, registration procedures, and other regulations are included in the 2016-2017 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.
Please keep in mind most hunting accidents happen climbing in, or out, or while in a tree stand, so please be careful out there.
Also, if you’re successful throughout the season and start getting too much venison, consider donating to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program, which pays for processing and donates the meat to food banks. Last year, the program provided over 650,000 venison meals to food banks and other efforts. * * * Fishing report Breaking fish composed of various sizes of striped bass, Spanish mackerel, and small bluefish are being seen throughout the middle Chesapeake Bay region. The mouth of Eastern Bay, off Chesapeake Beach, and the mouth of the Choptank and Little Choptank rivers have been common places to encounter fish feasting on bay anchovies and small menhaden. Casting to the breaking fish or jigging underneath is always fun. It pays to keep a sharp lookout for slicks that can indicate there is mayhem occurring beneath the surface or there was some recent action.
Trolling also has been a good option and many anglers are trolling small spoons, surgical tube lures, and bucktails. Large red drum are also in the region and it can pay to put at least one large spoon in a trolling spread.
Live-lining spot has been a fine tactic along channel edges from Dolly’s south to Breezy Point and near the False Channel at the mouth of the Choptank. Some live-liners have been getting a little more than they bargained for when a large red drum picks up a spot and takes off.
White perch fishing has been improving along shoreline structure areas as water temperatures begin to drop with the best catches coming from some of the deeper water areas. Casting off a dock or pier with a simple bottom rig baited with bloodworms or grass shrimp can pay off with some nice perch. I always seem to have good luck with a smaller spinner or mini Rat-L-Trap.
Farther south in the bay, cobia fishing remains steady from the middle Grounds/Buoy 70 area up past the Target Ship. The most common way to fish for cobia has been to chum and drift menhaden baits back into the chum slick. Bluefish and the occasional rockfish have also been part of the mix.
On the Atlantic Coast, the surf has calmed down and fishing for a mix of kingfish, croaker, flounder, and small bluefish is improving. The annual migration of mullet will be arriving soon and that usually puts striped bass, red drum, and bluefish activity in high gear.
Offshore anglers are returning with yellowfin tuna from the Washington Canyon area. Traditionally white marlin fishing will be at its peak now and a mix of dolphinfish, wahoo, and bigeye tuna will round out catches.
* * * Duck blind know-it-all Birmingham, England, has more canals than Venice, Italy.
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