- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) sent a warning to animal rights activists who intend to interfere with lawful hunting. On New Year’s Day NRP officers arrested and charged a Mechanicsville man for interfering with hunters, among other criminal charges.

After receiving complaints of hunter harassment, NRP officers set up surveillance in the area of Morgan Brothers Road near Cremona in St. Mary’s County. There, they witnessed Allan Eugene Pulliam, 37, confronting goose hunters near his property, the officers said. The goose hunters were hunting legally and were not on Pulliam’s land. According to the officers, Pulliam drove back and forth on the property line in his vehicle and discharged numerous rounds from a 30-30-caliber rifle. When NRP officers made contact with Pulliam, marijuana was discovered in his pickup truck.

Pulliam was charged with interfering with hunters, carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle, reckless endangerment, disturbing the public peace and possessing a controlled dangerous substance. Pulliam was transported to the District Court Commissioner in Leonardtown.

The rifle was seized as evidence. Interfering with hunters and having a loaded weapon in a vehicle both carry a maximum fine of $1,500.

The NRP says intentionally interfering with the lawful pursuit and taking of wildlife by another person or harassing, driving or disturbing any game animal intentionally for the purpose of disrupting a lawful hunt is against state law.

Important fisheries hearing tonight — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service will hold an important public hearing tonight at 7 at the DNR headquarters’ C-1 Conference Room in the Tawes State Office Building (580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis). The hearing will address a number of changes in store for Chesapeake Bay fishing regulations.

Here’s an opportunity to provide public input on proposed permanent regulatory changes that will require use of circle hooks during the Susquehanna Flats catch-and-release season and define recreational and commercial finfishing gear. The proposed regulations also will clarify the use of eel baits during the summer and fall striped bass season. It also will repeal a requirement for identification of a certain type of prohibited gill net, clarify commercial reporting requirements and remove the recreational size limit for white perch caught from cast nets. Plus, it will prohibit catching and possession of yellow perch eggs, provide criteria to exempt an individual from having a license to sell eels, require a person fishing with a Chesapeake Bay sportfishing license to possess a separate form of identification, align recreational shark size limit with federal regulations by making the size limit 54 inches and remove the commercial shark size limit.

The proposed regulations are available at www.dsd.state.md.us/mdregister. Printed copies will be available at the hearing.

Small changes in citation program — The 48th annual Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament will feature only three minor changes in its popular citation program. The tournament, open to all until the end of the year, simply is a way for Virginia to recognize anglers who have met or exceeded certain minimum weight or length requirements for a number of saltwater fish species.

Tournament director Claude Bain said the minimum weight for sheepshead will be increased from 7 to 9 pounds; the minimum weight for Norfolk spot will increase from 1 pound to 1 pound, 2 ounces; and swordfish anglers must catch specimens of at least 200 pounds to receive a citation. All the other species’ minimum requirements remain the same. For detailed information, contact Bain in Virginia Beach at mrcswt@visi.net or call 757/491-5160.

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

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