Nine hunters were charged with illegally baiting mourning doves in a stakeout on the first day of the hunting season Friday, Maryland Natural Resources Police said.
The hunters were charged with hunting with the aid of bait after police conducted a seven-hour surveillance at a farm in the 15200 block of Bushy Park Road in Cooksville.
David DeBernardo, 83, who owns the property and was one of the men charged, was unavailable for comment.
"We kept an eye on the property because hunting in that area has been very good in past years. Now we know why," said Bob Graham, a police spokesman.
The men -- who shot and killed 32 birds -- put so much cracked corn on gravel roads to lure the birds that the gravel was almost obscured, he said.
Baiting birds is illegal because "they will come to feed whether you're shooting at them or not," Mr. Graham said.
The hunters could face fines of up to $500 per violation if found guilty of the misdemeanor charge.
Besides Mr. DeBernardo, those charged were:
* Cesare Mazzocchi, 61, of Silver Spring.
* Giovanni Roman, 58, of Silver Spring.
* Thomas L. Irons, 43, of Leesburg, Va.
* Guiseppe R. Demilia, 61, of Silver Spring.
* Fausto M. Prezioso, 72, of Towson.
* Aldo Roman, 53, of Silver Spring.
* Robert Brundelre, 53, of Baltimore.
* Fabrizio A. Roman, 23, of Silver Spring.