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Outdoors

2006 deer kill numbers mirror 2005

2006 deer kill numbers mirror 2005

December 03, 2006|by BILL ANDERSON

Many important factors figure into the deer harvest each firearms season, none more important than the weather. Great weather usually translates into a good kill figure. The worst situation is a steady rain, which puts hunters back in the truck and makes it hard to stay in the woods for long periods.

The opening day of Maryland's deer season was just about a nice as it gets in late November, and the early, unofficial kill totals show that hunters enjoyed a very productive opening weekend.

This year, hunters reported a total of 17,231 deer kills this past weekend, which statistically is exactly like last year when the total was 17,151. Last year's opening weekend also featured great weather for most of the state.

The buck or antlered kill was 8,019 this year. Last year it was 7,956 - again just about exactly the same. The antlerless kill numbers were 9,195 this year and 9,212 last season.

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From all angles, this season is looking very much like last season.

Locally, Washington County hunters reported 2,128 deer kills for the opening weekend. This led all Maryland counties by a wide margin. Frederick County was second with 1,482 reported.

But the biggest news in Maryland deer hunting is the absolutely stunning deer killed in Charles County, near Newburg, Md. The buck did not feature a huge body (150 pounds dressed), but the rack is just stunning. This buck will easily top all previous record deer to become the new state record. This is important because Maryland has produced more than its share of outstanding whitetails over the years.

The early, unofficial score for the nontypical rack is 268 5/8 inches. The rack has to go through a 60-day drying period before it can be officially scored, but it is believed that this will be one of the top deer ever taken the U.S., and perhaps the highest-scoring rack ever from the eastern part of the U.S.

The big buck has 13 scoreable points per side and the length and mass of the 25-inch main beam and points is amazing. To see a picture of this tremendous buck, you can go to the DNR Web site at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/dnrnews/pressrelease2006/113006c.html

As of Friday afternoon, the figures for the opening week of the West Virginia firearms season had not been posted.

Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail. E-mail him at bill@weekend-sportsman.com

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