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Hunting to be allowed at Edgemont Watershed

November 21, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

Hunters will be allowed to hunt by permit only at the Edgemont Watershed.

On Tuesday, the Hagerstown City Council directed City Utilities Director Michael Spiker to draft a plan that would let 50 people hunt the land.

Eight to 10 people who already applied for permission to hunt at the watershed, which is owned by the city, will be called so they may start when deer season opens Saturday. The remaining hunters will be chosen in a lottery after they submit their names to City Hall, Spiker said.

All 50 hunters more than likely would be permitted to hunt by the end of this deer season.

The city previously allowed hunting on the 1,300-acre watershed, but banned the practice last year for safety reasons. Two city employees, however, were allowed to hunt on the land in exchange for doing free work there, such as posting signs.

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Last month, city officials decided to ban hunting all together until liability issues could be discussed.

The council agreed Tuesday that liability wasn't an issue, in part, because the city wouldn't profit by letting people hunt on the watershed.

Spiker said hunters would manage the deer population on the watershed and help to ensure a healthy herd, among other things.

Hunters who receive a permit would have to agree not to hunt within 500 feet of the Appalachian Trail, Spiker said. The lottery would be open to Washington County residents with a valid Maryland hunting license.

The council suggested charging $10 for each permit to pay for administrative costs.

He said the city probably would continue to hold a lottery each year to choose a new batch of hunters.

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