Over the next two weeks, hunting hits full stride in Maryland with the openings of seasons for rabbit, quail, pheasant, dove, brant, ducks, Canada goose and the two-week firearms season for deer.
Although the season for cottontail rabbits already is open in Garrett County, the season in the rest of the state opens tomorrow, with a bag limit of four. The season closes Jan. 31 in Garrett and Feb. 7 in all other counties.
The quail season also opens tomorrow, excluding Allegany and Garrett counties, with a limit of six per day. This season also has a split closure, with the western portion of the state (west of Interstate 83 south to I-695 to I-95 south to Virginia) scheduled to close Jan. 15. The eastern portion of the state is open until Feb. 15.
The season for pheasant, during which only males may be hunted, opens tomorrow with a one-bird bag limit in all counties except Garrett, which is closed.
On Tuesday, the second split of dove season opens, with a daily limit of 12.
Starting a week from tomorrow, the busiest week of hunting the state has to offer kicks off with the opening of Canada goose season Nov. 22, the second split of duck season Nov. 25-26 and the first day of deer firearms season Nov. 27.
The Canada goose season, the first split of which ends Nov. 26, has a one-bird per day bag limit and reopens Dec. 13. The two-bird bag limit begins Dec. 28 and runs through Jan. 11.
The first split of brant season runs Nov. 24-26 with a bag limit of two.
Junior deer hunt
As part of its junior hunter training program, the Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Division recently took 25 people ranging in age from 10 to 15 on a deer hunt at Blossom Point Proving Grounds in Charles County -- and 16 of the young hunters bagged their first deer.
William Licalzi of Lothian got the biggest deer of the special hunt, a 159-pound, eight-point buck.
Wildlife Division district manager Don Rohrback said the hunt was a great success and the program most likely will be continued next year.
TTC Although the hunt took place Oct. 23, during the state bow season, the young hunters were allowed to use firearms because they were on federal land and had received special permission from DNR.
The hunt was preceded by a day of instruction on the basics of hunting, safety and ethics and shooting practice. Each hunter was accompanied to a tree stand by an unarmed adult.
"The best thing to come out of this," said Rohrback, "is that these 25 young Marylanders have learned the ethics of hunting and how to do it safely and properly."
Capt. Mark Sampson, whose well-known shark fishing operation has operated out of Bahia Marina in Ocean City for many years, has moved his base of operations to the Ocean City Fishing Center in West Ocean City.
The Ocean City Shark Tournament, founded by Sampson 14 years ago, also will move its headquarters to the Ocean City Fishing Center for next summer's competition.