- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Are you ready to hunt while wearing a camouflage T-shirt? Area wildlife agencies have released the 2004-2005 hunting dates for early migratory game birds and resident Canada geese when the weather should still be warm and muggy.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says the mourning dove hunt, which kicks off the start of hunting activity each year in the state, begins Sept.1 and continues through Oct.16. The second and third split seasons will be Nov.12-20 and Dec.18-Jan. 1. Bag limit is 12 daily; shooting hours are from noon until sunset in the first portion but a half-hour before sunrise until sunset in the remaining two.

The early resident Canada goose season will open Sept.1 and run through Sept.15 in the eastern zone, but in the western zone the season will continue through Sept.25. The daily bag limit is eight.

Maryland’s woodcock season is split into two segments, Nov.5-26 and Jan.15-22. The dates for the early teal season are Sept.9-18. This season is open only in the portion of the state located east of Interstate 95. Hunters should note shooting hours for the September teal season are sunrise to sunset.

All migratory game bird hunters, including landowners who are license-exempt, are required to obtain the HIP (Harvest Information Program) permit and the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, in addition to a general hunting license. Hunters must possess the printed receipt showing proof of purchase of the bird stamp while hunting migratory game birds. Migratory bird hunters are no longer required to sign and attach the stamp to their hunting licenses.

Hunters are reminded nontoxic shot is required for hunting waterfowl and coots. Hunters may not possess or use nontoxic shot larger than size No. T or use or possess any lead shot while waterfowl hunting.

Full details and bag limits are available at www.dnr.state.md.us.

In Virginia, dove hunting runs from Sept.4 through Sept.25, Oct.9 through Nov.6 and Dec.28 through Jan.15. Bag limit is 12 daily, with shooting hours from noon until sunset in the first segment but a half-hour before sunrise until sunset in the remaining two segments.

Woodcock dates run from Oct.30 through Nov.13 and Dec.18 through Jan.1. The bag limit is three a day.

Resident Canada geese can be hunted from Sept.1 through Sept.25 with a daily bag limit of five. You can start shooting a half-hour before sunrise until sunset. This is statewide.

The early teal hunt runs from Sept.16 through Sept.25 but only east of I-95. The bag limit is four a day (any combination of blue-winged and green-winged teal). Shooting hours are the same as those for the Canada geese.

Smallmouth classes — The Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited is sponsoring a special open-to-all fishing “tuneup” for smallmouth bass Saturday, Aug.21, at the Andrew Guest State Park on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River (approximately six miles south of Front Royal on Route 340).

The event runs from 8 a.m. until dark and will be conducted by C. Boyd Pfeiffer, a nationally noted author and instructor who will cover selection and use of equipment for both spin fishing and fly fishing and fishing tactics. A fly casting clinic and a fly tying demonstration are included. The cost is $20 for individuals, $30 for families. Sign up with Jay Lovering, 703/973-1024, or Jeff Rainey, 703/759-2350.

Nice way of putting it — As concerns fruitless attempts to have a rational dialogue with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a Trout Unlimited official from Arizona recently said, “Talking with PETA is like trying to potty-train a duck.”

In other words, it’s impossible.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com

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