Fine weather greets hunters on open­ing day of deer sea­son

Record Observer - - Sports -

Firearms sea­son for deer is open now in Mar yland and runs through Dec. 10. Hunters may use firearms to har­vest sika and white-tailed deer dur­ing this sea­son.

With the over­all fine weather across the state on open­ing day, and judg­ing from the amount of dis­charges near where I was perched, hunters should do their part to man­age the state’s deer pop­u­la­tion this sea­son.

As Paul Peditto of the DNR says: “The two-week firearm sea­son is our most pop­u­lar hunt­ing op­por­tu­nity. Not only is the har­vest over this pe­riod a crit­i­cal part of the depart­ment’s deer man­age­ment pro­gram, it also al­lows hunters to spend time out­doors with fam­ily and friends after the hol­i­days.”

The bag lim­its for the sea­son are:

Statewide: One antlered white-tailed deer. Three sika deer, no more than one antlered.

Re­gion A: One antler­less white-tailed deer. Antler­less deer sea­son is open Dec. 9-10 on pri­vate land and Dec. 10 on pub­lic land. Hunters may only take two antler­less deer to­tal for the li­cense year.

Re­gion B (our re­gion): Ten antler­less white-tailed deer. One bonus antlered white-tailed may be taken per year dur­ing a weapon sea­son of the hunter’s choice. A hunter must first take two antler­less white­tailed deer and pur­chase a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp be­fore tak­ing a sec­ond antlered deer. New this year: • Sika deer sea­son is open in all coun­ties.

• Hunters in Caro­line County may use a ri­fle or hand­gun dur­ing the firearm sea­sons.

An antler-point re­stric­tion for white-tailed deer re­mains in place. Hunters may har­vest up to two antlered deer per li­cense year, which have two or fewer points on each antler present. Any ad­di­tional antlered deer taken within the le­gal sea­sons and bag lim­its must have at least three points on one antler. Li­censed ju­nior hunters are ex­empt from the re­stric­tion.

Hunters who use tree stands are strongly ad­vised to wear a full-body safety har­ness, which should be se­cured at all times, in­clud­ing while climb­ing up or down the stand. Us­ing a slid­ing knot, com­monly known as a prus­sic knot, at­tached to a line that is tied above the tree stand pro­vides a se­cure at­tach­ment when leav­ing the ground and when re­turn­ing.

* * * Menhaden PID The At­lantic coastal states of Maine through Florida have sched­uled their hearings to gather pub­lic com­ment on the Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Doc­u­ment (PID) for Draft Amend­ment 3 to the In­ter­state Fish­ery Man­age­ment Plan for At­lantic Menhaden.

Mary­land’s DNR will host its meet­ing at 6 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, Dec. 7 at Cal­vary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Boule­vard in An­napo­lis.

Fish­eries man­agers are seek­ing in­put from peo­ple in­ter­ested in At­lantic menhaden. The PID presents tools to man­age menhaden us­ing eco­log­i­cal ref­er­ence points and pro­vides op­tions to al­lo­cate the re­source among the states, re­gions, and user groups.

The PID can be found on the At­lantic States Marine Fish­eries Com­mis­sion Web site.

Pub­lic com­ment will be ac­cepted un­til 5 p.m. on Jan­uary 4.

* * * Fish­eries sym­po­sium The Coastal Con­ser­va­tion As­so­ci­a­tion of Mary­land will host a free Mid-At­lantic Fish­eries Sym­po­sium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Satur­day, Dec. 3 at the CBF Mer­rill Center in An­napo­lis.

Top­ics will in­clude in­for­ma­tion about up­com­ing menhaden man­age­ment changes and why ecosys­tem based man­age­ment is the best way to achieve sus­tain­abil­ity for “the most im­por­tant fish in the sea.” Capt. John McMur­ray (ny­cfly­fish­ing.com) will talk fish­ing and share his views on man­ag­ing our re­sources for the ben­e­fit of recre­ational fish­eries. He will

in­clude an up­date on is­sues he is work­ing on as a MidAt­lantic Coun­cil mem­ber and proxy to the ASMFC.

The sym­po­sium will also re­view the sta­tus of striped bass, and in­clude in­for­ma­tion about habi­tat restora­tion and ed­u­ca­tion work that CCA Mar yland is work­ing on now.

A free lunch and re­fresh­ments are in­cluded for all at­ten­dees. Costa sun­glasses has gra­ciously pro­vided fund­ing for the event.

You can reg­is­ter on­line at ccamd.org.

* * * Fish­ing re­port The cold front that clob­bered us with gale-force winds and cold tem­per­a­tures sadly claimed the lives of three an­glers re­turn­ing from fish­ing in the MSSA Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Fall Clas­sic.

The men were aboard Reel In­tim­ida­tor on the Po­tomac River on Satur­day, Nov. 19, when ac­cord­ing to the lone sur vivor, 39-year-old Ja­son Down­ing of Me­chan­icsville, the hull split at the rub rail on the bow and took on wa­ter; all the an­glers were wear­ing life jack­ets.

After com­ing to the scene of the sub­merged boat near White Point Beach, res­cue crews found Down­ing on top of the hull. Boat owner, 55-year-old Gre­gor y Moore, of Me­chan­icsville, and 48-year-old Wil­liam Ede­len Jr., of White Plains, were ini­tially miss­ing from the scene, but were found a short time later.

The Coast Guard sus­pended its search for the body of 52-year-old Roger Dale Gris­som of Hugh­esville.

Be­fore the big winds, John We­ber weighed in a 55.3-pound striper on Fri­day that ended up be­ing the tour­na­ment win­ner, which paid $24,205. On Satur­day, Chad Moore caught a 45-pounder to win $10,605, and Frank Delph caught a 36-pounder to win $7,070.

Fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties re­main when the weather co­op­er­ates, but ac­tion will likely di­min­ish with colder wa­ter tem­per­a­tures as bait heads down the bay and fish start to hun­ker down in the deep­est ar­eas.

The Bay Bridge con­tin­ues to hold a mix of striped bass and white perch near the deeper parts of the rock piles and py­lons. Ver­ti­cal jig­ging is a good to tar­get these fish and it will take some weight to get to them when the cur­rent is run­ning strong. Be­low the bridge there are white perch and striped bass hold­ing along some of the deeper edges of the main ship­ping chan­nel and to a lesser ex­tent the chan­nels at the mouths of the ma­jor tidal rivers.

There are a lot of small fish spread through­out the re­gion and it can be tough at times to find a nice grade of fish. Jig­ging deep will con­tinue to be a fun way to fish but trolling can also be very ef­fec­tive. It takes a lot of weight to get tandem­rigged buck­tails down to where the fish are hold­ing.

On the fresh­wa­ter scene, large­mouth bass are tak­ing ad­van­tage of small bait­fish and cray­fish los­ing cover and headed for deep struc­ture for the win­ter months. Hair jigs, tubes, soft plas­tic craws on a jig head, small crankbaits, ba­si­cally any­thing that looks like a cray­fish is a good bet when worked close to the bot­tom.

On the At­lantic Coast, wa­ter tem­per­a­tures are drop­ping fast and surf an­glers were pa­tiently wait­ing for the main body of mi­grat­ing striped bass to ar­rive from New Eng­land waters. Large blue­fish are also part of the fall mi­gra­tion and will soon start show­ing up at the sea bass fish­ing sites and should be found on the in­shore shoal ar­eas and surf zones soon.

*** Duck blind know-it-all Re­searchers have proven that the Com­mon Swift (Apus apus), a medi­um­sized bird, can re­main air­borne for 10 months.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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