Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The National Wild Turkey Federation suggests a hard look should be taken at the tremendous numbers of wildlife across America these days.

It says one group stands above all others for its efforts in restoring many wild game populations — American hunters. Disproving rumors that interest is waning, the Ohio DNR reports an increase in hunting activity. Some of the reasons the DNR suggested for the increase:

• 25,000 hunter education students were trained in 2003, the most since 1983.

• Ohio’s first youth deer gun season was held, with more than 5,000 deer taken.

• A record was set when Ohio archers shot more than 50,000 deer.

• Another record was set during the muzzleloader deer season with 24,000 deer taken.

• Sales of Ohio’s top three hunting license types saw increases last year. Youth permits and nonresident sales are up 16 percent, and resident license sales are up 2 percent.

So how do hunters figure in the restoration of wildlife?

In Ohio, for example, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) chapters have raised and spent more than $2.4 million on projects, including habitat enhancement, education, hunter safety and other efforts that support the conservation of wildlife and the preservation of America’s hunting tradition.

Virtually the same type of success stories by NWTF chapters, Ducks Unlimited chapters, deer hunting clubs and many others can be found in other states, including Maryland and Virginia.

Bear stamp contest goes to Frisino — Severn, Md., artist Louis Frisino has won many art contests in his long career, and this month his rendition of a resting black bear took the highest honors at the Eighth Maryland Black Bear Conservation Stamp Contest. His entry was selected from a field of 11.

Frisino won the 1976, 1986 and 1993 Maryland Duck Stamp Contest. His entry also won the first Maryland Trout Stamp contest in 1977, and he finished on top again in 1978 and 1979. Other honors include a winning entry for the 1987 New Jersey Duck Stamp, 1988 North Dakota Duck Stamp, 1988 North Dakota Salmon and Trout Stamp, 1989 North Carolina Duck Stamp, 1990 Alaska Duck Stamp, 1990 West Virginia Duck Stamp and 1991 Oregon Waterfowl Stamp. In 1986, 1988 and 1991 he also won first place in the Ward Foundation World Championship Wildfowl Painting Competition.

Proceeds from the sale of the Black Bear stamp are used to compensate Maryland farmers who can prove black bears have caused damage to a crop. To purchase a Black Bear stamp, call 410/260-8540 or visit www.dnr.maryland.gov.

Making sense of snakeheads — Virginia fisherman Dick Letaw showed uncommonly common sense in these hysterical days of snakehead fish discoveries. “I’ve just finished reading a Washington Times article by Isaac Wolfe,” he wrote. “[Wolfe quoted] a Virginia inland fisheries biologist who says to forget about control; the snakehead is here to stay.”

Letaw figures that to be a reasonable conclusion. “I think you should suggest to your editors that any further snakehead articles be diverted from the sports and local news sections to the fine dining and recipes department,” he added.

Pittsburgh gets ‘05 classic — The 2005 Bassmaster Classic, a kind of world championship of bass fishing, will be in Pittsburgh. When asked where in Pittsburgh, a spokeswoman for the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, the sanctioning body of the event, said, “We haven’t decided yet. There are three rivers, the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio.” So the fishing will be done in one of those three or all of them.

One thing is certain. The city and the state of Pennsylvania’s tourism promotion people will have to fork over some heavy cash for the BASS organization to show up with a cadre of the best tournament fishermen in the world. What will Pittsburgh gain from it? Lots of publicity and hopefully a bunch of tourists willing to spend their money in the Steelers’ hometown.


Trout Unlimited chapter meeting — Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m., the Vienna (Va.) Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center Street. Tony Harding, fly-fishing guide for stripers is the guest. Information: www.nvatu.org.

Free State Fly Fishers meet — Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., Davidsonville (Md.) Family Recreation Center. Joe Evens will present photos and anecdotes from a week-long trout trip in the southern Andes. Information: Mike Price, 410/230-0080.

Surf fishing school — Sept. 9-12, Oct. 21-24, Outer Banks, Nags Head, N.C. Each session is scheduled to coincide with productive fishing periods. Pro guides Joe Malat and Mac Currin are instructors. Cost: $250. Contact Malat, 252/441-4767 or joe@joemalat.com. Motel reservations, 800/334-3302.

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

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