I stopped by the monthly meeting of the Carroll County Sportsman's Association on Thursday and was treated to a slide presentation by Kenny Sterner and Freddie Aguilar dealing with last year's National Hunter Safety Championships at the NRA's Whittington Center in New Mexico. Both young men were members of the Carroll County Junior Team, which won the Maryland division for youngsters up to age 14. The Maryland Senior Team was represented by a group from Cumberland under age 18.
The Carroll team was sponsored by the Dug Hill Rod & Gun Club and the Carroll 4H, but could not have met all expenses without the generous help and donations from area clubs, the Carroll County Sportsman's Association and individual donations. A couple of clubs even held special still-target shoots with all proceeds going to the team.
Other Junior Team members were Jason Murphy, Steve Zimmerman, Joe Bauerlein, Ginny Flemming, Tammy Long and Dan Long. Caoches were Morris Aguilar, Jim Horn, Hap Baker and Joe Norfolk.
The competition involves many of the subjects covered by the Maryland Hunter Safety Course and includes expertise in animal identification, orienteering, archery, plus .22 rifle and shotgun skills.
The CCSA represents the views and interests of more than a thousand county sportsmen belonging to 13 local clubs and organizations.
One of the CCSA's first projects when the organization was formed and financed by the separate club and individual members was the openning of Morgan Run for such recreational pursuits as hunting, target shooting, expanded fishing opportunities, camping, hiking and horse-riding trails, etc. At the Thursday night meeting the Association reviewed a letter from John Wilson, Chief of the Department of Natural Resources' Central Region Greenways and Resource Planning Program concerning a number of issues that the two parties have been working on for a number of years.
Wilson informed the officers and club representatives that there would be no range allowed in the Morgan Run area. However, organized youth-group camping is approved, and the DNR will provide some fishing access for the disabled at Klees Mill Road and possibly Jim Bowers Road as well. Wilson also stated that a hunting program is being planned.
The CCSA's officers voted to accept the DNR proposals, but they also are going to write a reply asking why range requests have been denied and if the hunting program will be in place for the coming 1993-94 season.
A report was also made citing the DNR concerning last year's openning of Patapsco State Park to limited hunting. This was the result of CCSA efforts. It was reported at the meeting that virtually all of the daily permits were used each day of the season and that not a single hunting problem was known to Park officials. Because of this, the CCSA is seeking a slight increase in the number of daily permits for the coming season.
The Association has also been the leading force in attempting to get an early muzzleloader deer season. Despite promises from the DNR, no such plan appears on this year's proposed hunting seasons and limits currently under public consideration. The CCSA voted to attend each of the scheduled public hearings and voice their support for an early season and urge that it be implemented this fall. You may want to mark your calendar to attend the hearing set for March 16 beginning at 7 p.m. at North Carroll High in Hampstead to voice your support or opposition to such a hunt.
Lastly, it was also revealed that a move is under way for the formation of a statewide sportsmen's federation to look out for Maryland sportsmen's interests. The idea, it was reported, originated with the Western Maryland Sportsmen's Federation and has already received support from many Eastern Shore clubs and organizations. I'll keep a watch on the progress of this interesting and overdue move and update regularly.
Fenwick fly fishing school schedule
Jim Gilford's Fenwick Fly Fishing School is possibly the most successful of its kind in the area. I think the reason for its success is that this school puts the focus on how to select and then effectively use fly fishing tackle rather than going overboard on the complexities of the sport. Gilford has been running this basic fly fishing school for 29 years, so he must be doing the job right.
The first two-day school is March 27-28. Subsequent classes are April 17-18, May 15-16, June 5-6, July 10-11, Aug. 14-15 and Sept. 25-26. The school is in nearby Frederick. Call (301) 663-3966 for details.