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New rules could set traps for hunters

August 07, 2005|By Bill Anderson

The beginning of the fall hunting seasons is only a few weeks away and Maryland hunters will see some important changes this fall.

There are three important issues hunters should be aware of as they get ready for the 2005-06 seasons.

Changes of Region A for deer hunting - As most know, Maryland's deer management divided into regions. "Region A" is comprised of Allegany and Garrett counties while "Region B" is every other county in the state.

Maryland DNR has made significant changes because of the huge drop in the deer population in Region A. The dates and bag limits for all three seasons - bow, muzzleloader and firearms - have been changed.

The most obvious change is the general deer bag limit. Region A will now allow one antlered and one antlerless deer in each season. In comparison, Region B allows a general bag limit of two antlered and 10 antlerless deer per season.

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This is one of many details that pertain to the various seasons - which include hunting on private vs. public lands - so hunters need to review the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping booklet before the season opens.

New check-in process for deer and turkey kills - Hunters will no longer be required to present deer and turkey to a game checking station starting this season.

The new process requires hunters to fill out the field tag with the appropriate information. They must follow it up by going to a Web address or placing a phone call by midnight of that same day to complete the process. A confirmation number will be issued and it must be submitted with the deer when it is presented to a butcher or taxidermist.

For information on the new process, log on to http://www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/check_instruct.asp

Bear hunt applications are being accepted - Maryland is planning another bear season in 2005 and applications for permits are now being processed.

Permit applications can be made via the web or phone, but there is no advantage for using one over the other. Hunters can call 1-888-579-6768 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m Monday through Friday to apply for the permits. The Web address is

http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us/.

The DNR plans to issue 200 permits, but 120 of the permits will be valid on private land only. Applicants may designate a "sub-permittee" who will be allowed to participate in every aspect of the hunt. If hunting on private land, the permittee may designate the landowner as an additional "landowner" sub-permittee, who will be restricted to hunting on his or her own land.

Each permittee/sub-permittee hunting team is allowed to harvest one black bear.

Permit applications are being accepted online from now until Aug. 31 at http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us/. Telephone applications will be accepted through Aug. 26.

To get more detailed information about these changes, hunters should consult the Guide to Hunting and Trapping booklet, contact the DNR, or review the agency Web site at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/sw_index_flash.asp.

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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