Did you know that the best deer taken by an Anne Arundel resident this year is the 200-pound, 31-point giant nailed by Whitey Matthews in Queen Anne's County?
Other good whitetails taken over the last couple of weeks include bucks carried home to Glen Burnie by Gary Johnson and Rich Landon.
Johnson's was 178 pounds and carried 12 points, and Landon's trophy hit the scales at 176 pounds and wore a wide 11-point rack. Both deer came out of Anne Arundel County.
Ben Crawford, 14, of Crofton carried home a 166-pound, eight-pointer taken in Frederick County during his first deer hunt.
The muzzleloader portion of the deer season began yesterday and continues through Jan. 1. Last year, local buckskinners collected 81 whitetails here. Look for a slightly higher total at the end of this hunt if the weather cooperates. I'm guessing around 110.
Hunters still are limited to a single Canada goose a day until Dec. 28, when the limit becomes two.
Canada goose hunting has been good this year. Granted, we're a long, long way from those glory years of the '70s and early '80s, but a couple more good hatches like last spring's and numbers will increase dramatically.
One of the more heartening things about this year's season is that the hunting has been good all over the shore -- Kent, Talbot and lots of spots in between.
Outdoor shows scheduled
We're bearing down on the outdoor show season. The first big show is the huge BASS EXPO that draws thousands of state bass fans to the Maryland State Fairground's Cow Palace in Timonium each year.
Mark your calendar for Jan. 14-16 for this year's edition, which will feature seminars by bass pros David Fritts, Guido Hibdon, Paul Elias, Woo Daves, Randy Romig and Greg South. These are about the biggest names in the sport.
You'll also want to mark your calendar for the Mid-Atlantic Hunting and Fishing Show, Jan. 28-30 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Just about every aspect of hunting and fishing will be covered by hundreds of exhibitors and hourly seminars.
There will be lots of good local stuff at this show -- Captain Eric Burnley on rockfishing, fly casting by Thom Rivell, Captain Mark Sampson on sharking out of Ocean City, to name just a tiny sampling.
The National Rifle Association's Great American Hunters Tour is a must-see in Hagerstown on Feb. 2. Speakers include such experts as Chuck Adams, Craig Boddington, Peter Fiduccia, Dick Idol, John Wooters and Jim Zumbo covering a broad range of tips and techniques for rifle, bow and handgun hunters, whitetails and other big game as well as safety, ethics and responsibility.
Also on display will be the NRA Great American Whitetail Collection, featuring the greatest whitetails every taken.
Admission is $15 for non-NRA members, $10 for members. Call (( (800) 492-HUNT for complete details and pre-registration.
Outdoor activities thrive
Hunting, fishing and related outdoor activities are alive and very well in Maryland, according to the recently released U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1991 National Survey of those activities.
According to those figures, 467,000 Maryland residents are anglers, who spend $283 million annually; 129,000 of us are hunters who added $161 million to the state's economy. Then, there are the 1.5 million residents who took part in outdoor activities such as boating, swimming, hiking, bird watching, etc., who kicked in some $270 million to the state economy.
Reserve park space
Beginning in the new year, reservations may be made for use of the Patapsco Valley State Park's popular picnic pavilions.
The park has five developed areas along 32 miles of the Patapsco River that offer a variety of recreational opportunities. The five areas with picnic shelters are McKeldin, Pickall, Hollofield, Hilton and Avalon, which extend from Anne Arundel County to Carroll County.
Call park headquarters at (410) 461-5005 for reservations.