Hunters hit marks as deer season opens

November 25, 2000

Hunters hit marks as deer season opens

By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer

DOWNSVILLE - Charlie Settles was having lunch at the counter of the Downsville General Store with his friend Cory "Slick" Overcash Saturday afternoon talking about the morning hunt.

"We saw 14 deer this morning but no bucks," he said. "We're going back out this afternoon."

A check with Settles later in the day Saturday found their luck wasn't any better.

Meanwhile, by 2:15 p.m., the store had checked in 64 deer.

Richard Troxell Jr., and his son, Richard Troxell III, were standing near a pick-up truck showing off an 8-point buck Richard Jr. brought down with a shotgun slug and a six-pointer his son got with a muzzle loader.

"It was a long shot. He was running a doe and I didn't think I hit him until I saw the blood trail," the elder Troxell said. "He went about 250 yards before he dropped."


Troxell's son said his buck was about 60 yards out when he spotted it. He said he called the deer on a "grunt" call, which makes a sound like a buck in mating season. The deer turned, giving the younger Troxell a shot.

"I hit him in the neck and he dropped like a box of rocks," he said.

"I started hunting rabbits when I was 5," said Settles, 60.

He said he's bagged about 150 deer over the years.

"Up until about three years ago I ate them, but then I got tired of venison so I began to give it away," Settles said. "Every year I get two deer, skin and butcher them and give them to friends. They used to hunt until they got too old, but they still like venison."

On Saturday Settles took Overcash, 13, hunting.

"I like taking the kids out and showing them," he said.

"He got a six-point on the day of the youth hunt (Nov. 11). It was a clean shot, in the neck and he dropped right there.

"I teach them to bring them down. I don't want to see nothin' suffer," Settles said.

Millard Householder, 68, was sitting next to Settles at the counter.

Householder said he went deer hunting once, back in 1951, his first and only time.

"I was with my brother," he said. "He told me to sit in this tree and wait.

"I waited for a couple of hours in the rain and sleet then I went to the car. That was my last hunting trip."

Gary Clark of Hagerstown checked in an 8-pointer at Keystone Sporting Goods at 13611 Pennsylvania Ave. Saturday afternoon. He shot it on Sideling Hill.

"I picked out a spot that I thought looked good," he said. "It was around 6 a.m.

"When I find a good spot I stay all day if I have to. This one came by around noon."

He downed the animal with a shotgun.

Clark, 48, is a lifelong deer hunter.

"This one makes number 61," he said.

He hunts with muzzle loaders, a bow and arrow, shotgun and rifle.

Clark said he was borrowing trouble from his wife Saturday when he put his deer into a plastic garbage bag then into the back of his wife's new two-door Neon sedan.

"My truck wouldn't start this morning so I took her car," he said, trying to wipe off a blood stain on the carpeting in the trunk.

"She'll kill me when I get home. I got to get my truck fixed."

Hunters were coming to the store in a steady stream Saturday afternoon. Some had two and three deer sprawled in their pick-up beds.

The store had logged 214 animals as of 3:30 p.m.

Michael Fazenbaker, a wildlife technician with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, was in the parking lot with a device to weigh the deer. It wasn't mandatory, but most hunters wanted to know how much their kills weighed.

Karina Blizzard, education coordinator for the DNR's Wildlife Heritage Division in Grantsville, Md., helped Fazenbaker weigh the deer, check their teeth to determine their age and check the does to see if they had mated too young.

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