- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 7, 2007

If you still haven’t filled the freezer with venison, don’t hang up your bow just yet. In Virginia there will be plenty of opportunities to bag a deer even though it’s March.

To assist various towns and cities that have deer management problems, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries established an urban archery season in 2002, and it apparently has been a success.

This year the special deer archery season extends until March 31 in 19 localities, but some of the areas where deer can be hunted are more developed than others, thus resulting in additional restrictions. Hunters will have to follow some tough safety rules, but they will have a chance for plenty of venison.

The state’s deer project coordinator, Nelson Lafon, says, “The Urban Archery season plays an important role in managing human/deer conflicts. It allows participating towns, cities and counties to address the problems of too many deer while offering sportsmen a chance to hunt in these areas.”

Interested? Look for the nearest of 19 participating localities by going to the department’s Web site, www.dgif.virginia.gov.

Yellow perch arrive at the Fresh — Schools of soon-to-spawn yellow perch have arrived in the Wicomico River in Charles County at a place known as Allen’s Fresh. Actually, the fishing started in earnest Saturday, but most of the perch were small “bucks,” males who will spray their milt onto the eggs of the soon-to-arrive female perch.

Favorite ways of hooking these shallow water perch include light spinning rods with a 1/16-ounce or 1/32-ounce shad dart tied to 6- or 8-pound testline and a thumb tip-sized bobber snapped to the line about three or four feet above the lure. Allen’s Fresh is reached by taking Route 301/south and turning left at Route 234. Be sure to have a tidal water license, but you also need a freshwater license if you fish upstream of the Route 234 bridge.

Kent Narrows to be dredged — Good news for all the boaters and anglers who find themselves in the Kent Narrows on the Eastern Shore’s Kent Island. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Queen Anne’s County will have the Kent Narrows channel dredged and made boater-ready by this summer. The funds to do this come from the state’s Waterway Improvement Fund.

The waters of the Kent Narrows are some of the most traveled channels in the Chesapeake Bay, connecting the Chester River to Eastern Bay. The area in question is home to 100 commercial fishermen and is visited by thousands of recreational anglers every year who find rockfish, white perch and spot during the fishing season. The DNR says that without a deep-enough channel, boaters would have to circumvent Kent Island, which would involve a 27-mile ride.

Bass club meeting — The public is invited to a meeting of the New Horizon Bass Anglers tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center. Local custom rod builder Gary Hicks will talk about how to pick the perfect fishing rod for your specific needs. He also will address simple methods of repairing rod guides. If you need more information, e-mail [email protected] or call Charlie Taylor at 703/887-8399.

Want to become a game warden? — The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries asks, “Do you have the right stuff?” If you think you do, love the outdoors and would like to be wildlife officer, the department wants you to know that it’s recruiting a new class of game wardens. For more information, visit www.dgif.virginia.gov or call 804/367-3443.

Young hunter banned for life — The Florida Fish & Wildlife Department delivered a tough but fair sentence when an 18-year-old Pensacola youth pleaded guilty to killing three small spotted fawns illegally on Christmas Eve. The teenager was banned for life from having a hunting license and will not be able to hunt legally in 24 states belonging to the Wildlife Violator Compact.

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

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