Junior Deer Hunt days set for this weekend, Nov. 10-11
Youth gets to take to the fields and forests this coming weekend during Maryland’s two Junior Deer Hunt days. The hunt is open Nov. 10 on private and designated public land in all counties, and Nov. 11 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George’s. In Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties, the hunt is also open on designated public lands Nov. 11.
As Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Service Director Paul Peditto eloquently says: “The Junior Deer Hunt provides the opportunity for adult mentors to pass on the skills and traditions of hunting and shooting sports to today’s youth, instilling an appreciation of our natural resources.”
Hunters 16 years of age or younger who possess a valid license may use air guns or firearms that meet department standards to hunt sika and white-tailed deer on these days. Youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old, who holds a valid hunting license. Adults may not possess a hunting device while accompanying a junior hunter, but may participate in other open seasons if they are not acting as a mentor.
The bag limit for the Junior Deer Hunt days in our region, Region B, is three white-tailed deer with no more than one antlered, and one antlered or one antlerless sika deer.
Deer taken by youth hunters during the two days do not count toward the regular archery, firearm, or muzzleloader bag limits. They are also exempt from the antlerpoint restriction.
Complete regulations can be found in the Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping, which is available online and at brick-andmortar locations.
Please remember to stay safe out there. Inspect all tree-stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while climbing in or out and while in the stand.
Hunters are also reminded of the daylight fluorescent orange and fluorescent pink requirements. Hunters and companions must wear either a cap of solid fluorescent orange or pink, a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange or pink, or an outer garment of camouflage fluorescent orange or pink worn above the waist, which contains at least 50 percent fluorescent color.
Black bear results According to the DNR,
135 hunters harvested a bear during the recent five-day hunt held in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. Several large bears were taken throughout the hunt; bears weighing more than
400 pounds were taken in each county.
The largest bear taken weighed 575 pounds and was harvested in Washington County by Robert Marks of Clear Spring.
“We are pleased with another successful bear hunt and view it as further evidence the department is managing the state’s black bear population effectively,” Peditto said. “With such an expanding and healthy bear population throughout western Maryland, this hunt is an essential management tool.”
By the numbers:
• 135 black bears harvested: 31 from Allegany County; 2 from Frederick County; 93 from Garrett County; and 9 from Washington County
• 163 pounds average weight of bears harvested
• 64 percent of bears taken on private land
• 5,491 hunters applied for a permit
• 800 permits awarded
Smithville Lake ramp closure
The Smithville Lake (Caroline County) boat ramp will be closed from Nov. 5 until the end of the month due to pier replacement according to the DNR. No boat launching or fishing will be allowed near or around the work area.
Fishing report Overall, shorter, cooler days are a great sign for anglers, as fish in the Chesapeake Bay feed heavily to prepare for winter conditions or for migration. Right now there is plenty of cool water and oxygen from surface to bottom in the bay. For tidal rivers and main bay areas, it’s good to focus on areas with good structure such as underwater points, oyster bottom, reefs, channel edges, and large schools of baitfish. Hungry striped bass will also roam the nearby shallow water areas looking for an easy meal.
Most striped bass anglers are now fishing with artificial lures, either trolling umbrella rigs, bottom bouncing with bucktails, or jigging and casting on pods of breaking or suspended fish. Live-lining eels around bridge pilings has been a good method to find larger fish. The Bay Bridge rock piles continue to be a popular place for jiggers and this should continue into December.
Farther south, the fall trolling pattern for stripers is turning on from Bloody Point to Solomons Island. Reports of keeper- to medium-sized fish are coming from the mouth of Eastern Bay, channel ledges near Thomas Point, Buoy 83a, Cove Point, and the Gas Docks area. Trollers are deploying umbrellas with 6-inch green, chartreuse, or white shads, spoonbrellas, and G-eye jigs with paddletail soft plastic shads.
On the Atlantic Coast, there has been good action in the surf with small snapper bluefish (on cut mullet and bunker) and kingfish and stray pompano on squid, fish bites, and sand fleas. The wrecks and artificial reefs continue to produce sea bass with some flounder in the mix. The sea bass are the more reliable fishery, with clams and squid working as bait. The offshore season is coming to a close with windy, cold weather, and billfish heading south.
Duck blind know-it-all Biologists have found as many as 5,000 ants in one Northern Flicker’s stomach. Follow me on Twitter @ csknauss / email me at email@example.com