Deer in Spring Landscape

Public Comment Record
Draft Regulations for Wildlife Management Areas


The Public Comments Period Closed on December 3, 2013.

Thank you for your interest in the
Draft Regulations for Wildlife Management Area’s.


Although, I would like to see all public lands included, I believe that WMA's would be the ideal place to offer Sunday hunting for those hunters like myself with no access to private lands, especially since WMA's are funded by hunter's dollars. - D. N.

Concerning Heater's Island WMA specifically, I would like to see the no camping regulation enforced. There was a group of hunters camping on the island during the early muzzleloader season and I am sure it happens regularily. There are some signs posted along the island clearly stating ""no camping"" but prehaps there needs to be more signage, particularily in the area near the geocaching box that is not-so discreetly hidden. - D. N.

Regarding .21 A, I would like to allow two hours prior to legal shooting hours to set decoys, rather than one hour. Current arrangements to hunt impoundments at Deal and Fairmount allow hunters to enter the impoundment areas two and a half hours prior to sunrise. For those who hunt those areas, altering.21 A to allow two hours would allow hunters to begin setting decoys immediately rather than waiting for an additional hour. - J. H.

Hello, I would like to comment on item 28.B. of the proposed WMA Regulations. First, let me start by saying what a great overall job DNR has done at being a good steward of the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area. I have enjoyed using this resource for the last 34 years. My primary uses have been diverse- fishing, hunting, crabbing, biking, hiking, and waterfowl observation and photography.

I am strongly not in favor of the restriction on use of gasoline-powered outboard motors in the impoundment between October and March. This time of year is historically an optimal time for recreational crabbing in the Deal Island WMA impoundment area. It coincides with the various waterfowl hunting seasons, and has peacefully coincided with them in the 34 years I have used the impoundment. The new guideline, which now only permits use of vessels propelled by electric motor, severely limits the range of vessels to a very short distance from the impoundment launching ramp at end of Riley Roberts Road. My understanding is that this recent restriction was implemented to increase the overall waterfowl hunting experience and to improve waterfowl habitat.

In my many years in using the impoundment during the fall for recreational crabbing, there is minimal overlap between waterfowl hunters and recreational crabbers both geographically and temporally. Particularly in the cooler weather of the fall, crabbing is only effective beginning late morning or even early afternoon as the weather cools. Also, while the waterfowl hunters usually seek more secluded areas where they can lay decoys, etc, the recreational crabber is typically using either the main channel or the area immediately surrounding one of the dikes.

In terms of waterfowl habitat, I do not believe the use of gas-powered outboard motors is dramatically affecting the silting-in or sedimentation of the impoundment salt marsh. These processes are occurring both by natural growth and decay of marsh grasses and also by past use of the impoundment by waterfowl hunters using “mud-boats”.

Lastly, the restriction on gas outboards seems unfair to the public at large, as the impoundment is public land managed for a variety of recreational uses and not solely waterfowl hunting. If the Maryland Waterfowl Association has provided funding toward the Deal Island WMA, that should not buy their interest group preferential treatment in the designation of policies meant to manage this public resource. Thank you in advance for consideration of my comments. - R. B.

St Inigoes management area is in need of clear regulations. The goose and duck blind hunts are being molested by rabbit and dove hunters. This is just plain aggervating. I take off and put time in to set up my spread only to have an uncontrolled situation with other hunters molesting waterfowl hunts. they come right down to the blind sites without any regard for the 250 yard limit around each site.

This is clearly a violation and the WMA needs to get a handle on it.This is lack of clear management on the States part. Not only are they molesting hunts they are tresspassing on all of the residents who live on those properties.

Again bad management on the States part. There is no deer hunting on the creek side where the residents live so why are they allowing the small game hunts to go uncontroled?

They cannot stop the dogs from going where ever the dogs want. I would imagine that this is also screwing up the deer hunting on the other side as well with all the shooting taking place.

Please figure out what type of hunting should be allowed and where and when, during what seasons.

I know that there has been a lot of complaints on this why isnt the State Game management doing something?

Please do your Job!

No geese or ducks will come into those blinds while hunters are runing dogs all over those feilds shooting the place up. - S. H.

Add more acreage to Garrett or Allegany county for bowhunting only. Also antler restrictions of some sort and to be able to leave stand up over night or for the season and then must be taken down at end of season but at owners risk of being stolen. - Steve

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments concerning the newly proposed wildlands areas. I attended the meeting held @ ACM in Cumberland on Nov. 7th. At that meeting I commented that existing trails were my concern in that after Wildlands designation, these trails are no longer maintained, but allowed to grow in, and/or allowed to be closed by deadfalls and such. I feel that if we are to truly pass the resource forward to the next generations, we have the responsibility to not only designate, bet maintain in such a way that future generations can also enjoy these areas. I love to hunt and also hike in some of the areas proposed in Garrett Co. Over my lifetime, several areas in the South Savage Area that have great fire trails from 40 years ago, have been allowed to go back to a natural state. I feel that these trails, if maintained and kept open, would enhance the user experience, as well as serve as a valuable tourist draw for both Allegany and Garrett County. As per State Senator Edwards comments, at the public meeting, apparently the DNR has the option to maintain and provide trails in these proposed new areas, as well as the existing Wildlands Areas. I would encourage your staff to seriously consider the benefits of these areas being made available for non-motorized passage, allowing and maintaining trail systems to support these benefits. Thank You, - K.D.S.

I support the proposed legislation to add rifles under 25 Caliber for hunting @ Mckee Beshers. - R. L.(IWLA/DUI)

I support the new regulation of allowing ""breech loading"" firearms in McKee Beshers.- D. McF.

I'd love to see Sunday hunting, at least during archery season, on all public lands. As an out of state non-resident I travel to your state to hunt and spend money in your state. I would think that maximizing hunter opportunity by allowing Sunday hunting wouldn't just benefit the hunters but also the local economies.

I also agree whole heartedly on not allowing Geo-Caching on public lands as it's border line littering and the attitudes of those I have met participating in it have been largely anti-hunting.

Further there should be a new look on how the management of WMA's is handled. Years ago Cecil County WMA's were managed by Millington in nearby neighboring Kent County. The properties then were well cared for with trails trimmed and fields planted for crops that benefited the local economy while also being great for wildlife and later in the season waterfowl hunters. Earlville in particular has changed drastically and is seriously poor compared to the years it was managed by Millington. The fields have gone to fallow and tree lines have died out heavily. One half of the property has become practically inaccessible to hunters. - D. C.

Antler Restrictions: Many states across the country are implementing antler restrictions into their quality deer management programs in order to create a more natural breeding ecology, an older buck age structure, and increased hunter satisfaction. Is this a possibility for Maryland Hunters?

I would suggest a point restriction similar to the one Pennsylvania started in 2002. In most parts of the state a buck legal for harvest had to have at least 3 points on one side of its rack. Youth hunters are excluded from this regulation.

Extensive studies and surveys in Pennsylvania have shown its antler point restriction system to be a success. Pennsylvania's antler restrictions have increase the survival rate of yearling bucks and adult bucks while maintaining hunter success rates. It has increased the number of adult bucks in the population and in turn increased the age structure of the buck harvest while avoiding any kind of negative genetic impact on the herd. Most importantly the point system has maintained its support from hunters of over 60% surveyed from before its inception in 2002 until now. I think this is something that Maryland should look into. A survey of hunters opinions would be a good place to start.

I would also like to add that I think Maryland does a better job of managing its doe population than Pennsylvania. The land can only support ""x"" number of deer and does not discriminate between male and female. The more does you harvest from the herd the closer the buck to doe ratio gets to 1:1. This also promotes a healthier deer herd. - M. J.

.27 use of breech loading rifles and pistols in McKee Beshers. I strongly support the adoption of allowing breech loading rifles & pistols in McKee Beshers WMA. McKee's has an outstanding safety record of thousands of hunters that utilized this WMA in its 38 year history. The proposal will mirror Seneca State Park bordering McKee's the same firearm regulations that are also permitted on other WMA's and State Parks. The new provision will provide small game and predator hunters greater access to the largest WMA in Central Region to further their sport of using breech loading firearms for hunting. - S. M.

I don't see anything listed in the proposed regs, but what about trail cameras for deer hunting? With prohibition of leaving treestands and decoys overnight, how would they fit into this? Would be nice to have clarification one way or the other if they are allowed on state lands or not. - D. C.

Please improve the efficiency of permit allocation to units such as Grove Farm. While I can accept not getting a spot, it is very frustrating to not connect on the phone. Perhaps, a lottery for the prime days would less annoying and more equitable. - K. M.

I support the change of regulations that would allow small caliber rifles at McKee-Beshers. I've always felt squirrel and rabbit hunting with a .22 is appropriate there. However I'm against allowing calibers up to 25 caliber, which include high powered rifles with very long range. Calibers such as .223 and .243 do not belong there, especially during deer season, when the area is crowded with hunters, many of whom don't seem to display safe behavior.
- D. D.

I read in the Draft of Proposed Wildlife Management chart that ""Globe Comm"" in Anne Arundel County is considered for Wildland status. I am unaware of the location of this site but can hardly object to keeping land wild in our county & state. We need to preserve as much wildland as possible. Otherwise every tree & weed will be at risk of being mowed down. The lifeblood of our beautiful state of Maryland will be lost. Please preserve as much wildland as possible. Thanks. - N. K.