Bowhunting season got under way last week and will continue through Nov. 26, when it breaks for the two-week firearms hunt. Archers can go back into their tree stands Dec. 13-17, then from Jan. 3 through Jan. 31.
Last year 292 whitetails were bagged by Anne Arundel County archers. The statewide total was a record-smashing 11,240 deer.
According to figures furnished by the Department of Natural Resources, 91 percent of last year's successful bowhunters bagged a single deer. The remainder took advantage of the second deer stamp and claimed a double.
Bowhunters bagged 6,901 antlered deer and 4,318 antlerless. Rifle and shotgun hunters participating in last year's two-week hunt split fairly evenly between bucks and does harvested -- 17,760 antlered and 17,373 antlerless.
The most popular method of bowhunting is from a tree stand. Nearly half the the 30 hunting accidents reported in Maryland from July 1, 1992 to June 30, 1993 involved tree stands, and one proved to be fatal.
Nancy Howard of the Department of Natural Resources said: "In many of these tree stand-related accidents, the hunters were not wearing safety belts. The tree stand should be attached securely and no higher than 10 or 12 feet."
Howard also advises hunters to use a "safety belt because manufactured harnesses are proven safer than a rope. Also, always use an equipment line to get unloaded guns or archery equipment into or out of the stand."
Hunters always should inspect stands and make necessary repairs.
Antlerless permits set
A total of 4,390 antlerless deer permits will be allocated in the western counties this fall.
Garrett, Allegany and portions of Washington and Frederick counties require hunters to possess such a free permit before legally taking an antlerless deer.
The allocation is 550 for Garrett County's Zone 1 and 840 for Zone 2. Allegany's Zone 1 gets 630. Zone 2 is targeted for 770. Washington County Zone 2 is allotted 600 and Frederick County Zone 1 will have 1,000 permits available.
This is a 1,590-permit reduction from last year, based on the stabilization of the deer herd size and hunter concerns voiced at various public hearings.
Information and forms for applying for the permits are in the "1993-94 Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland." Applications must be received by Oct. 15.
M.A.R.C. membership growing
The Maryland Aquatic Resource Coalition was formed by concerned citizens and sportsmen when Baltimore officials closed reservoirs to fishing because of zebra mussel problems in New York. It was primarily through M.A.R.C.'s efforts that the fishing ban was lifted, restoring this valuable form of recreation to thousands of Marylanders.
Thanks to this and other successes, political awareness and a united front of sportsmen's organizations, M.A.R.C. has become major force on issues affecting Maryland sportsmen.
Individual, as well as organizational, memberships are $15 a year. For information, write M.A.R.C., P.O. Box 307, Maryland Line, MD 21105, or stop by their booth at one of the coming sportsmen's shows.