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Lewes, Delaware
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November 21, 2014     Cape Gazette
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November 21, 2014

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~0 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21 - MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014 SPORTS & OUTDOORS Cape Gazette s a surf fisherman and a deer hunter, I have ;pent a good amount of time by myself staring at barren ground and empty seas. I guess non-hunters and non-fishermen would consider this a waste of time, but I don't look at it that way. For me, it is a time to enjoy all the things the outdoors haste to offer, and by doing so I am never bored. Sleepy, yes; bored, never. Back in the 1950s when I began my deer-hunting career, I thought I was Daniel Boone or some other great tracker and would spend my time on the ground looking for deer sign and following their trails. I now believe the deer I was track- ing through the Sussex County woods were watching me and laughing. /hen I finally swallowed my'pride and went up in a deer stand, I began to actually see deer and even shot a few. The view from the stand was also a welcome change from looking down at the ground for vari- ous deer sign. I now used my knowledge of where deer were moving to select the location of my stand. I also began to notice there were other things in the woods beside me and the deer. Squirrels are by far the most mrmerous animal in the woods. As soon as the sun begins to rise, they come out in force logking for food and then chasing each other away from anything they find. As any hunter will tell you, the sound of a squirrel coming from behind your position will cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand on end. In your heart of hearts you know it's just a squirrel, but it does sound exactly like a deer. Then on those rare occasions when the sound is made by a deer, the adrenalin flows like a river, and you are afraid to move for fear the animal will see you before you can make a shot. There is normally quite a bit of time between shots, so your attention drifts to other sights and sounds of the woods. I am constantly amazed by the num- ber of birds in Sussex County. Not being a birder I don't know all of their names, but I sure do enjoy watching them flit and fly around. On occasion they will land on my stand or on a branch nearby and study me very closely trying to discern if I am safe or pose a danger. I have also had raccoons, mice, possums and, of course, the always wandering hunter pass under my stand. I used to hunt with a good friend who could not stay put for more than five minutes. He drove several deer to me, and I could hear him thrashing around long before I saw or heard the deer. Surf fishing is another lonely pastime. It is even more so at this time of year as I wait for the ever-elusive rockfish to find my chunk of bunker. I normally don't fish alone, but when the weather turns cold and the fish become few and far between, most of my warm-weather companions find something to do that does not require wearing six layers of clothes, a pair of waders and a Grunden pullover jacket. I find very few other anglers on the beach unless the latest reports indicate a recent blitz. One thing about a blitz; if one happens on Tuesday, you can bet the ranch it won't reoccur at the same location on Wednes- day. On my most recent trip to Herring Point last Sunday, the air and water were both cold; clouds blocked the sun and as evening drew near it got even colder. All I could do was hunker down in my beach chair, change the bait every 15 minutes and hope for just one wayward rockfish. It didn't happen. At least in warm weather I am entertained by the passing parade that sometimes includes lovely young ladies in very small bathing suits who take pity on an old man and walk by on their way to nowhere. Now I don't even have dolphins to watch. What I do watch are the waves. How they break, how many in a set, the way they run up the beach, then fall back to the sea. I also enjoy watching the ships that come and go in and out of Delaware Bay. OK, so maybe I am easily entertained, but I don't ever remember spending time in a deer stand or on a beach wor- rying about personal problems. I don't think about the condi- tion of the world at large or the things going on here in Sussex County. I am relaxed, calm and centered only on the task at hand, and that's all right with me. Eric Burnley is a Delaware native who has fished and hunted the state from an early age. Since 1978 he has written countless articles about hunting and fishing in Delaware and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast. Eric can be reached at Waterfowl Cd~atinued from page 99 of refuge manager. Sea duck: Special season corttinues through Saturday, ]an. 24, 2015 within the designated Special Sea Duck Hunt Area, not cchlterson wartz legs than 800 yards from shore between Port Mahon/Elbow Cross Navigation Light and the Delaware-Maryland line. For ducks harvested during the special season in the designated area, a daily bag limit of seven argl possession limit of 21 applies to sea ducks; of this number, four can be scoters, with a daily pos- session limit of 12. Sea ducks may bdharvested outside the desig- nated area only during regular duck season dates, and count toward the regular six-duck daily bag limit; those harvested within the special area do not count to,yard the regular-season duck bag limit. The daily limit of six ducks (ex- cluding mergansers and coots) may include, in any combina- tion, up to: four mallards, with no more than two hen mallards; one black duck; two pintail; one canvasback, three wood ducks; two redheads; two scaup, six teal; six shovelers; six gadwall; six wigeon; six goldeneye; six ring- necked ducks; six bufflehead; six ruddy ducks; one mottled duck; one fulvous whistling-duck; four scoters; six eiders; six long-tailed ducks. The possession limit is three times the daily limit. The season on harlequin ducks re- mains closed. Season dates for coots and mergansers are the same as for ducks, with a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit of 45 for coots, and a daily bag limit of five and a possession limit of 15 for mergansers. Daily bag limit may include no more than two hooded mergansers (six in pos- session). Canada geese have a daily bag limit of two, with a possession limit of six birds. Hunters also may take white-fronted geese, which count against the daily bag limit for Canada geese, allowing hunters to take up to two Cana- da geese, or two white-fronted geese, also known as "specklebel- lies," or one of each daily. Most state wildlife areas open for waterfowl hunting hold a lot- tery drawing for waterfowl blinds 1.5 hours before legal shooting time, except for Little Creek Wildlife Area, which holds its drawing two hours before legal shooting time. Hunters should plan to arrive in time to sign up for the drawing. More information about duck blind lotteries and availability at individual wildlife areas as well as rules specific to each wildlife area can be found online at Dela- ware Hunting Maps. Hard copies of these wildlife area maps are also available at DNREC's Dover license desk, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302- 739-9912. ERIC BURNLEY PHOTO ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD LB HARRINGTON from Milton shot this impressive eight-point buck on opening day of Delaware's shotgun season. Let's hope he isn't spoiled by his early success. NEW & USED GUNS ' HOLSTERS ' AMMO ' GIFT CERTIFICATES s] THE NEW T XD MOD.2 G IS HERE! U N s .9MM SUB-COMPACT R I SPRINGFIELD F: t ARMORY USA. E S H A N 28815 LEWES HIGHWAY, LEWES, DE D G Phone (302) 684-5198 ~ FAX (302) 827-2313 U N Weekdays:10a.m.-5p.m.. Saturday:10a.m.-4p.m. Sunday: Noon - 4 p.m. S Emaih - charlessteele@comcasLnet R E; SI oi R A T I O N S R U S S I A N I T E M S EXTRA BARRELS. EAST GERMAN ITEMS. MILITARY WEAPONS JOHN RISHKO 302-381-2504 fc) NICELY WALK TO RENOVATED BEACH Charming 2 BR bungalow in Desirable Dodd's Addition, conveniently located neighborhood east of Rt. One. 3 BR rancher, w/no fees. walk to Dewey or Rehoboth. Asking $237,500. Asking $499,999. 18958 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach 302-703-6987 Office