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Braggin' rights

Hagerstown man bags bear; local shop to mount one

Hagerstown man bags bear; local shop to mount one

October 28, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - A Hagerstown man achieved his longtime goal Monday of bagging the animal he'd always wanted in his collection, and a Frederick, Md., man became the bearer of good news to Boonsboro taxidermists when he called with news of his success in the state's first bear hunt in more than a half-century.

Clarence Dayhoff Jr., of Hagerstown, was among the applicants who won a chance to take part in Maryland's first black bear hunt since 1953. A few hours into Monday's hunt, at 11:30 a.m., he achieved his biggest goal since he started hunting at 14.

"I always wanted one, so it was definitely a thrill," Dayhoff, 46, said. "I didn't think I'd even see a bear."

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Dayhoff shot a 177-pound sow, a female bear, on the grounds of a hunting club in Garrett County in far western Maryland. Dayhoff said he was in a group that included the land owner and his father, who did not receive a permit but was allowed to go along as a guest.

"My father already got a bear, so he wanted to come because he wanted to see me get one more," Dayhoff said. "We had a good time."

On Monday, the first day of the black bear hunt, 20 bears were checked in at official stations, according to the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service. The DNR ended the hunt after the first day, saying the agency feared allowing it to go a second day would end in more than the limit of 30 bears being killed.

Tim and Christy Martin, who run Martin's Taxidermy Studio & Wildlife Artistry off Boonsboro Mountain Road, said they were thrilled when a customer from Frederick surprised them with a call Monday morning to tell them he was among the first to be successful.

"I enjoy mounting bears, so I got pretty excited that we'd get to mount one from the Maryland hunt," said Christy Martin.

Tim Martin, a Hagerstown native, said the business stuffs several bears each year, but they are primarily from hunts in Canada or Wyoming.

"It's neat to see something local," he said.

The Martins, who met a few years ago at a taxidermy convention, said the 225-pound sow is going to be made into a rug, a job that will take about one year to complete and will include a stint at a tannery.

The man who shot the bear declined to have his name released, Christy Martin said.

She said bears are a personal favorite to work on because she can use her background in painting and drawing to be creative with the animal. She said the most important thing is making it appear lifelike at the end of the process.

"I just love how they look when they're done. It's a passion," she said.

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