- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Steven Christian of the Maryland Hunter Alert group says he would like it a lot better if Gov. Parris N. Glendening were honest enough to say, "I do not like hunting, and that is why I vetoed this [Sunday hunting] bill." Instead, the governor, who has pretty much telegraphed his dislike for recreational hunting and for hunting as a legitimate wildlife management tool through his actions over the years, is as disingenuous a politician as you're likely to encounter when he says that he fears for the safety of the citizens of Maryland who would be threatened by Sunday hunters.
Small wonder that Maryland's hunters can barely wait to see the Guv leave office. The problem is that they fear the woman who wants to succeed Glendening, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, probably won't be much better in matters that concern guns or hunting.
Anyhow, a bill, HB-9, that dealt primarily with deer management that would have permitted Sunday hunting in only a few western mountain counties was immediately distorted by the governor and others with anti-hunting views. Questions were raised about safety. Without any evidence contrary to documented injury statistics and no support by the experience of states that allow Sunday hunting, Glendening continues his personal vendetta against hunting.
Maryland Hunter Alert says, "By his own words, this governor has applied illogical prior restraint reasoning and cast hunters as direct threats to the citizens of Maryland." Neither the Department of Natural Resources nor the Natural Resources Police nor medical records can substantiate predictions of widespread injuries or deaths attributable to hunters.
Tens of thousands of Maryland residents visit the state's natural resource areas each year without so much as harming a hair on their heads, yet Glendening said he vetoed HB-9 because they would "lose the certainty of having one weekend day during hunting season when their families and children can safely enjoy the outdoors." The Maryland Hunter Alert group says that hunting families, including their children, are safer on lands that are visited by hunters than they are on the highways, waterways, beaches, pools and the street corners of the state.
Says Christian: "I do mind that [Glendening] has taken a bill that was supported by wildlife professionals, conservationists, senators, delegates, hunters and nonhunters as a deer management bill and used it as an opportunity to say hunting is not safe, whether it is on Sunday or any other day of the week."
Virginia flounder laws need input Virginia's Coastal Conservation Association says flounder fishing fans should know that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has rejected the Virginia Marine Resources Commission's proposals for coastal and Chesapeake Bay flounder seasons. Another hearing of ASMFC-approved proposals will be held Tuesday at noon in the VMRC Conference Room, 26th Street and Washington Avenue, Newport News. The meeting is open to the public, and comments are invited. Letters, e-mails and faxes received by the VMRC before the meeting will be given to the commissioners in time to study them. Those received between today and Monday will be provided to them immediately before the hearing.
The following are various options for flounder fishing seasons:
One option would allow eight flounder a day that must measure 17 inches and there would be no closure. Another suggestion is to have an eight-flounder-a-day, 17-inch minimum from July 22 through Aug. 9 in all Virginia waters and a 15-inch minimum in all coastal waters from June 8 through July 3 with a five-fish-a-day limit; or a 15-inch minimum size, five-flounder-a-day limit throughout the coastal areas of the state, while for the Chesapeake Bay a July 22 through July 28 season is proposed that would call for 17-inch minimums and an eight-flounder-a-day limit.
Confused? Don't be. Pick one or think of one of your own and send it to Jack Travelstead, VMRC, Fisheries Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, Va. 23607. You may e-mail it to [email protected] or fax it to 757/247-8101. If you wish to get in touch with Virginia's CCA state chapter, the e-mail address is [email protected]
Chincoteague wildlife tours resume After a considerable absence, wildlife tours will once again be offered on Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Beginning Friday, trolley wildlife tours along a 7-mile-long service road in the refuge will resume daily at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. until Labor Day. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. The tickets can be purchased at the Chincoteague Refuge Visitor Center, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The trolley tours are conducted by the Chincoteague Natural History Association. "Not only does the tour allow visitors to see this inner part of the refuge, but also to explore the diversity of wildlife and management with a knowledgeable guide," refuge manager John Schroer says.

Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report every Friday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]


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