- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Can a game warden make a routine traffic stop? You bet. In fact, he or she can do a lot more than enforce wildlife laws.

For example, a game warden with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) recently assisted Greene County sheriff’s deputies who sought a juvenile male they believed abducted a teenage girl. Before the evening ended, the wildlife officer was involved in a shooting incident.

An alert had been issued for an “endangered missing juvenile” female who may have been abducted by a boy who police believed to be armed, the VDGIF said. The police had descriptions of the young people, the car they were supposed to be in and their possible destination. Since he was in the area, the game warden, who heard about the events on his police radio, was going to assist in the blockading of the vehicle.

When the suspect’s vehicle was seen and stopped by the deputies, the wildlife officer attempted to remove the girl from the car’s passenger side, the VDGIF said. The male suspect suddenly struck the game warden with his vehicle. The game warden ended up firing his service revolver, striking and killing the suspect. Names are being withheld until an investigation is completed.

While game wardens concentrate on wildlife and boating laws, in Virginia and most other states they have full police authority. Not everybody knows that.

UV lure spray fish can see — A Berkeley Springs, W.Va., company says it has invented something called Fool-A-Fish, a UV spray it says will help anglers catch three to four times more fish.

I haven’t seen the product or tested it, but what it’s all about is keeping lures looking as bright and visible under water as above. As you know, visibility and scent fade quickly in water depths of 10 feet or more — never mind when conditions are muddy. Dr. Milan Jeckle developed the UV fish spray that coats the bait with a powdery substance he says is non-toxic to humans, animals or the environment. This substance reflects ultraviolet light, and fish can see it for up to a half-mile, he claims. It can be sprayed onto live baits or any artificial lure. Check out www.uvfishspray.com.

Wildlife stamp art contests —The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Friends of Patuxent want Maryland artists to submit original artwork for the state’s 2007-08 Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest. The event is held in conjunction with the annual Patuxent Wildlife Art Show, starting at noon March 31 in the auditorium of the Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center in Laurel. All artwork for the contest must be received no later than 4 p.m. March 23. The contest is open only to residents of the state.

A second stamp art competition calls for entries in the annual Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Design Contest, also to be judged March 31 at the same facility. However, entries for this contest are open to all, residents and nonresidents. The deadline for entries is March 23, and they must be accompanied by a nonrefundable $10 fee. For more information contact Doug Wigfield at dwigfield2@dnr.state.md.us or call 410/713-3852.

Contestants and the public are invited to attend the judging. Admission is free.

Another Marylander earns Classic spot — Russell Colwell, a Baltimore bass angler, trailed by more than 11 pounds as he headed into the final day of the Bassmaster Series Championship on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville on Saturday. But he hooked another 16 pounds, 2 ounces of live largemouth bass to claim a berth in next month’s Bassmaster Classic — the second Marylander this month to do so. In another event, Kevin Waterman of La Plata fished his way close enough to the top to earn an invitation to the biggest bass tournament of the year. Colwell finished with 48 pounds, 15 ounces in the three-day Guntersville event, more than a pound ahead of Oklahoma’s Todd Lee. Colwell received the $100,000 grand prize and a chance to fish in the Classic on Feb. 23-25 on Lay Lake near Birmingham, Ala.

Ducks Unlimited turns 70 — The international hunter/conservation organization Ducks Unlimited is celebrating its 70th anniversary, and I salute this milestone. Ducks Unlimited deserves accolades for its incredibly successful work in trying to conserve North America’s waterfowl populations and their frequently threatened habitats. Since 1937, DU’s membership has grown from 6,720 members to 750,000 throughout North America. The waterfowl group has more than 60,000 volunteers and 3,665 chapters in the United States and Canada.

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

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