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Hunters urged to use caution

November 28, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Maryland's two-week firearms deer season for white-tailed and sika deer opens Saturday and local police agencies ask that hunters use caution.

About 75,000 hunters will be trying to bag deer during the two-week season, during which a hunter spends five days, on average, pursuing deer, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Web site.

New legislation in 12 Maryland counties provides for an extra day of deer hunting on private land. Sunday will be open for both white-tailed deer and sika deer in Washington, Allegany, Garrett, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Calvert, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's and Talbot counties.

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Farmers, or other private landowners, may use this extra day to control deer populations on their properties.

Deer are more apt to run onto the road during daylight hours to flee hunters, Maryland State Police 1st Sgt. James Meyers said.

If deer end up on the road, it's best to call police to handle the situation, Meyers said.

Maryland State Police 1st Sgt. Rick Narron said police get sporadic calls during hunting season about people trespassing on private land.

"We expect people who are out and about and are in hunting mode to wear reflective orange vests," he said.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Daniel Faith said his agency hasn't had too much trouble yet with people trespassing on property, but said hunters on private property must have written permission from the owners of the land.

Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. Fred Wolford said there are no public hunting grounds within the city limits.

Occasionally, police will learn that shots have been fired, but hunting problems are not usually an issue for his jurisdiction, Wolford said.

"We get more killed by cars than we do by guns," he said.

Wolford said it is illegal to fire weapons within city limits and that he expects hunters not to hunt in residential areas.

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