RMEF Education Grants for Maryland, Delaware
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MISSOULA, Mont.–Conservation education projects in nine counties in Maryland and one county in Delaware have been selected to receive grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 2010.

The new RMEF funding for Maryland, totaling $7,315 will affect Allegany, Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Garrett, Harford, Montgomery and Wicomico counties. An additional project has statewide interest.

In Delaware, $2,035 has been allocated for two projects in Kent County.

“Wild elk don’t occur in either state, but the species continues to inspire conservation and education successes both at home and all across elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “These grants wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers, most of whom are hunters as well as conservationists, who work hard staging banquets and fundraisers in Maryland and Delaware.”

RMEF’s lead volunteer for both states, State Chair Steve Bird of Conowingo, Md., said, “There may not be any elk in Maryland or Delaware, but there are thousands of people who are passionate about ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, and their habitat!”

RMEF grants will help fund the following Maryland projects, listed by county:

Allegany County–Provide sponsorship for the Maryland 2010 Junior Hunter Field Day to engage students in outdoor recreation and conservation (also affects Wicomico, Charles and Garrett counties).

Baltimore County–Provide sponsorship for 2010 Upper Bay Greenwing Youth Event to introduce students to outdoor recreation and conservation.

Caroline County–Provide sponsorship for the Maryland 2010 National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration at Schrader’s Bridgetown Manor to show the fun, discovery and conservation benefits of traditional outdoor sports.

Cecil County–Provide sponsorship for the Northern Chesapeake Sportsmen for Kids 2010 Field Day to introduce students to outdoor recreation and conservation; and sponsor the American Legion Mason Dixon Post 194 Shooting Team to provide young people with safe opportunities to shoot competitively.

Charles County–Provide sponsorship for the Patuxent Sportsmen for Kids 2010 Youth Field Day to introduce students to outdoor recreation and resource conservation.

Garrett County–Provide sponsorship for the Maryland High School 2010 Natural Resources Career Conference to provide students with information and hands-on experience relative to a professional career in conservation.

Harford County–Provide sponsorship for the Mason-Dixon Outfitters 2010 Youth Hunt Day to introduce young people to safe hunting, shooting and conservation.

Montgomery County–Provide sponsorship for the Maryland 2010 National Hunting and Fishing Day, a family event to show the fun, discovery and conservation benefits of traditional outdoor sports.

Statewide–Provide 2010 sponsorship for the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation, which monitors legislative issues on behalf of hunters, anglers and recreational shooters.

Delaware projects include:

Kent County–Provide funding for public education tours at the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Aquatic Resource Education Center and DuPont Nature Center; provide sponsorship for wetland restoration tours at the Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area.

Conservation education and hunting heritage projects are selected for RMEF grants by a committee of RMEF staff and volunteers.

Partners for 2010 projects in Maryland and Delaware include the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, many local sportsmen associations and gun clubs, other organizations, corporations, schools and landowners.

Delaware Hunters Must Pay To Use Deer Stand, Duck Blinds
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This is coming from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control:

New Fees Announced for Using Duck Blinds and Deer Stands in State Wildlife Areas Requiring Hunting Permits

Due to the passage into law of House Bill 108, all hunters who wish to use an established duck blind or deer stand provided by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife in state wildlife areas which require a permit to hunt will pay a $10 per day user fee. License exempt, disabled and youth hunters are not exempt from paying these fees.

Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach, Little Creek, Ted Harvey and Assawoman state wildlife areas require hunting permits. Only those hunters who are selected by the pre-season or daily lottery to hunt will need a permit.

Hunting permits can be purchased for the $10 deer stand/duck blind user fee at stores statewide that sell hunting licenses or at the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s main office at 89 Kings Highway in Dover. Permits will not be sold at check stations nor are they available online.

Permits must be turned in at the appropriate check station when hunters are assigned a deer stand or duck blind. One permit is needed per day to use a deer stand or duck blind, regardless of the number of hunters in the blind. Permits have no expiration date and can be transferred to another person, but unused permits are non-refundable.

For more information, please call the DNREC Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. More information on hunting in Delaware is also available online at www.fw.delaware.gov/Fisheries/Hunting+license+FAQs.htm . For a list of stores statewide that sell hunting licenses, please visit www.fw.delaware.gov/Info/LicenseAgents.htm.

While Delaware hunters are scrambling around to find enough money to pay all the fees so they can take to the fields, we have hunters simply looking for a place to hunt. There must be a way that Delaware hunters and landowners can get together. I read continually about Delaware farmers and landowners complaining about too many deer on their land and I hear of hunters having trouble finding private land to hunt on. Is there a remedy for this?

I would encourage all landowners who would like to have a responsible hunter on their land to contact their local hunting clubs. I have one hunter that says you can email him directly here.

Tom Remington

Human Poop Pellets Ward Off Deer?
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In the Washington, D.C. area sewage treatment plants are manufacturing human poop pellets. A poop pellet is a fertilizer derived from the treatment of human waste. Yes, stuff that used to be in your toilet bowl. The product is called TLC, Tuscarora Landscaper’s Choice, and people who use it say it is an incredible fertilizer that makes lawns green and lush and one user claims in grows vegetable plants where no seeds where ever planted. Such a deal.

Some users are claiming that using this stuff, which has a bit of a pungent odor, keeps deer at bay. In areas of Virginia and Maryland where deer herds are so numerous, farmers and homeowners are being eaten out of house and home by the deer. They are looking for anything that will help.

But not all people say the stuff works as a deer repellent.

The Washington Post covers the story.

Tom Remington

Tired Of Fishing? Go Trolling For Whitetail Deer
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I now know most of you are saying that Tom has really flipped his wig this time but wait, wait, wait. It’s not me. J.R. Absher, the Newshound, has come up with a doosy. Check it out. Two guys out fishing the Chesapeake Bay, one mile from shore and encounter a button buck swimming for…….well, I don’t know where.

Tom Remington

Delaware Posts 2nd Highest Deer Harvest
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Falling short of the all-time deer harvest record by only 268 deer, Delaware hunters took a total of 14,401 deer during the 2006-2007 season. The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife has a goal of reducing the deer population across the state and has geared the hunting season to harvest more female deer than male. They think they are making some headway.

The entire deer season in Delaware runs from September to January divided into different disciplines. During the November shotgun season that lasts just 8 days, 6,037 deer were tagged.

Delaware also is one of very few states that offers a handgun season for deer. This year hunters bagged 135 deer with handguns compared to 114 during the 2005-2006 season.

For a breakdown on the total deer harvest, follow this link. (this is a pdf file)

Tom Remington

Delaware Will Change Its Deer Hunting Tactics
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Now that I realize that Delaware is decades behind many states in developing good deer management tactics, let’s move on to the good stuff.

Delaware Department of Natural Resources has just completed a study that will help them discover where the deer are, how many deer are in those areas and develop a hunting season based on solid data rather than just a season open everywhere for the same amount of time. Their previous method of formulating a deer hunting season was never based on any good data. Well, now they have some.

To give you an example, which probably doesn’t surprise that many people, officials discovered that in eastern Sussex Country, the deer density is about 20 per square mile – mind you this is the lowest density in the state. On the flip side, New Castle County has a density greater than 145 per square mile. Yup, I think it’s time for some changes in Delaware.

Read more about it in Michael Short’s article in the Sussex Post.

Tom Remington

Nine-Month Deer Hunting Season? Is That a Dream Come True?
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Perhaps it is a deer hunter’s lifelong dream to be able to hunt deer from August 15 through May 15. Personally, I’m not so sure but in Delaware this is the case.

According to this story in the Delaware Online, farmers are being eaten out of business by a thriving deer population. To help ease the damage, a program has been approved that will allow land owners to hunt the deer nine months out of the year. To qualify for this, they first have to name at least one licensed hunter who is not a member of the family, who will be allowed to hunt deer on their property as well.

Read the whole story here.

Tom Remington

Delaware’s Deer Problem, Farmers and Hunters
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Delaware’s farmers are taking a beating from crop damage. There are so many deer in some areas that crop damage is costing agricultural businesses millions of dollars annually.

Rep. John C. Atkins, (R) Millsboro, has introduced House Bill 387 which would let farmers shoot deer that are damaging their crops no matter what time of year.

It is completely understandable that farmers need to protect their crops. What I don’t understand is why better management plans aren’t put in place to allow hunters the opportunity to reduce herd sizes. I’m sure farmers have better things to do with their time than dealing with shooting and disposing of deer they’ve had to kill.

If there aren’t enough able and willing hunters in the state of Delaware to resolve the problem, then other methods should be employed. This doesn’t mean prohibiting the farmer from protecting his crops but here’s an example of having the means in place to solve a deer overpopulation problem yet not utilizing it. Sounds a bit spiteful to me.

Tom Remington

Delaware Farmers Getting Eaten Out of House and Home
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Deer in some areas of Delaware number in the 90-plus per square mile range, while others are around a dozen. Farmers don’t really care whether there are 12 or 1200 deer per square mile. Their gripe is the deer that are there are eating their crops by 20-30 percent and cutting into their profits. The farmers are seeking permission to kill the deer.

There is legislation pending in the Delarware Congress that would provide farmers the chance to do that but like any political drafting, there is conflict and opposition. Some say the drafted bill is too general and wouldn’t protect endangered species and of course there’s always those who don’t want the animals killed at all.

From information that I have been able to gather on this issue, it appears to me that the state of Delaware has not done a very good job in managing their wildlife and not simply because there are too many deer in some places. There are no wildlife zones to define areas that need closer scrutiny for example and officials have no clear estimates of deer populations now and where all the more heavily populated regions are.

One issue that may hold up this legislative process to give the farmers some relief, is that the fish and game officials will have to provide some data to show scientifically that there are too many deer. They don’t have the facts.

Last winter the game officials did some aerial surveys to get better estimates of deer populations. Hunting is one method used to control and manage deer populations but last year 5,200 antlerless deer permits were issued. Less than half were filled.

Delaware’s problems with deer populations are identical to state after state. Deer are congregating in large numbers in areas where there is a lot of food and they are not harassed – urban areas. In Delaware, many large farms abutt urban parks and the edges of towns. The combination of the two, wooded areas and ample food, provides safe havens for the deer to roam freely and multiply.

When towns ban hunting, it removes one of the biggest resources used for deer management. Overgrown populations of deer bring many hazzards to human populations – disease and accidents.

Delaware needs to get caught up by the sounds with their wildlife management programs and at the same time do something to help out these farmers who are losing their shirts.

Tom Remington

Delaware Paying Through The Nose for Sharpshooters
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The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife has hired teams of sharpshooters to cull the deer herd for purposes of scientific study says director Patrick Emory. The culling began on Tuesday night. The teams of sharpshooters are operating at night and DFW hopes to collect 450 does, most of which will be carrying fawns, to help biologists better understand how to manage the deer herd, according to Emory.

The corpses will be analyzed for such things as age-specific reproduction rates, sex ratio of fawns, length of breeding season, and the age structure of the doe population.

Deer hunters are objectionable about the idea of spending tax dollars to cull the herd. They wanted an opportunity to do it. Last fall, DFW asked hunters to donate doe corpses to the study and officials only collected 144.

I seldom criticize wildlife biologists for the simple reason that I know they are a lot more educated than I when it comes to understanding the scientific make-up of animals. What I know comes from experience in the field but I may a better business person than a wildlife expert. There is an aspect of this deer culling event that leaves me wondering if it’s a wise expenditure of taxpayer’s money. If it is, I’m changing professions.

Emory, the director of DFW, in an interview with Newszap.com, said that on the first night out, Tuesday, two teams of sharpshooters bagged 6 deer – yeah, 6. What I don’t know is how many sharpshooters were positioned for the harvest but 6 deer is what they took and they want to cull 450 over a 4 or 5 night hunt. Wow!

Oh, but there’s more. It costs taxpayers about $2,000 per night per sharpshooter team employed. In case you are math illiterate, that’s $4,000 for Tuesday night’s hunt in which sharpshooters bagged 6 deer – in the dark. That places a value of $666.66 on each doe killed. Emory didn’t know how many deer had been taken on Wednesday night. Hopefully it was about 200, to get them caught up with goal quotas.

Emory did say that because of the small number of deer taken, they were beginning to rethink their goals. He said he wasn’t sure if they would just use what deer they had and come up with the best data possible or can the entire operation until a better plan is put in place.

One thing is for sure, spending $4,000 a night to kill 6 deer is ridiculous, considering the fact that the sharpshooting company, or whatever they are, doesn’t have to completely process the deer. In other words, I would assume that they would have to dress the deer and take care of entrails and turn the carcass over to the state.

Often times, sharpshooters hired by cities to cull local deer populations have to take care of everything, including the cost of processing the meat. As I said earlier, I might need to consider changing jobs.

Tom Remington

Infolinks 2013