Ju­nior Deer Hunt days set for this week­end, Nov. 10-11

Record Observer - - SPORTS -

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 ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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