Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Local Hunting by the Numbers

Maryland farm country.

This year the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Hunting and Trapping Guide is printed on slick paper and with four colors. I guess things are moving up!

The guide notes that in most of the state you can can shoot 12 whitetail deer with a bow, 12 whitetail deer with a shotgun, and 12 whitetail deer with black powder per person per season.

In addition, you can shoot 2 Sika deer with black powder, 2 with a bow and 2 with a shotgun.

Add it all up, and that works out to total of 42 deer per person per year!

Virginia is more of the same, and I have hunting license in both states.

Maryland has just opened a bear season. Virginia has always had one, and we shoot about 1,200 bear a year in my little state (I live in Virginia, on the border with Maryland where I do most of my own hunting).

The Maryland early season limit on Canada Geese is 8 a day, which does not seem too restrictive considering that the limit on "light geese" (aka Lesser Snow Geese and Ross' Geese) is 25 per day, with no limit at all from Jan. 31 - April 16.

The limit on duck is 4 in the early season and 6 later on, with various species count restrictions within that number.

In season, there are no limits on fox, coon, coyote, beaver, or nutria. Unarmed fox chasing without firearms is legal all year long (including Sunday) and does not require a license, and groundhog is open season, unlimited take, all year long.

Maryland Snow Geese, 2009

In Maryland, as in so many states, crossbows are being given the green-light for deer, hunting on Sunday bans are coming down, and though shotguns and blackpowder are getting more accurate and more high-tech every year, no one is suggesting more restrictions so far as I can tell.

And, of course, as the graph below suggests, all of this is subsidized, at least to so extent by general state treasury revenue.

Which is as it should be, considering how much land is acquired and set aside for winter hunting, but which is enjoyed in warm weather by Maryland walkers, birders, horseback riders, and the like.


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