Deer sea­son opens with archers hop­ing for cooler temps

Record Observer - - Sports -

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.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

CHRIS KNAUSS

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