- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced its 2008-2009 early migratory game bird hunting seasons for mourning doves, resident Canada geese, woodcock and a brief September teal shoot.

The first part of dove season begins Sept. 1 and continues through Oct. 11, with the second portion running from Nov. 15 to Nov. 28 and the part of the split hunting dates beginning Dec. 20 and continuing through Jan. 3. The daily bag limit for doves remains at 12.

A popular early hunting activity for Marylanders is delivered by the thousands of resident Canada geese, found on farm fields, local rivers, creeks and the Chesapeake Bay’s shores. You may go after them Sept. 1-15 in the eastern zone and Sept. 1-25 in the western zone. Your hunting license booklet will show the various demarcation lines for the zones. The daily bag limit is eight a day, and during this early resident goose hunt, you can use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells. In addition, shooting hours are extended to one half-hour past sunset.

Meanwhile, September teal season runs Sept. 18 to Sept. 27. The boundary for the early teal season zone changed slightly last year. Visit www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/ewfchart.asp for zone descriptions. If you’re a fan of the “timber doodle,” Maryland’s woodcock season is scheduled for Nov. 8-28 and Jan. 16-24.

The state reminds all migratory game bird hunters (and that includes license-exempt landowners) that they must have the HIP (Harvest Information Program) permit and the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp. Though migratory bird hunters no longer are required to sign and attach the state’s Migratory Bird Stamp to their hunting license, they must, however, possess the printed receipt showing proof of purchase of the stamp.

Virginia dates once more- Although we’ve run them before, here again are the Virginia dove, early goose, woodcock and teal seasons: Dove seasons run Sept. 1-27, Oct. 4-31 and Dec. 27-Jan. 10 with a 15 bird a day limit. Resident Canada geese can be hunted Sept. 1-25 with a 10 bird a day limit. Woodcock season runs Nov. 8-22 and Dec. 20-Jan. 3 with three a day allowed, and the early teal hunt is open Sept. 20-30 only east of Interstate 95 with four a day permitted.

In both Maryland and Virginia, waterfowl hunters age 16 and over must have the Federal Duck Stamp, which has to be affixed to the license and signed. Federal stamps can be bought at U.S. Post Offices. Nontoxic shot is required for hunting rails, snipe, waterfowl and coots; the shot size cannot be bigger than “T.”

Online boat ramp locator - Anglers who trailer their boats and are tired of visiting the same waters but do not know where else their vessels can be launched can now do so through a free online BoatU.S. Launch Ramp Locator. Try it out at www.BoatUS.com/Trailerclub.

BoatU.S. says its launch ramp locator provides thousands of suitable places where a boat can be slipped from its trailer, including municipal or state facilities, marinas, boat clubs, privately owned sites and other boat access sites.

BoatU.S. Trailer Club director Beth McCann said, “We don’t just give you a ramp’s address - we’ve included all of the important information you need to make a decision, whether you’re looking for new weekend cruise location, a new fishing locale or just thinking about venturing a little farther.”

McCann said if you know of a boat ramp location that is not listed, you can get a free trailer ball hitch cover by submitting the information online.

Check out Inside Outside- Have a look at Gene Mueller’s Inside Outside blog by going to washingtontimes.com/sports.

cLook 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