Md. deer firearms hunting season opens Nov. 28

The two-week firearms hunting season for white-tailed and sika deer in Maryland opens Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 12. New this year, deer hunters may use rifles and handguns that employ straight-walled cartridges in all counties, according to a Maryland Department of Natural Resources news release. Rifles and handguns that use bottleneck cartridges remain limited to those counties that permitted them previously. Hunters can find more information on this change in the 2020-2021 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping at www.dnr.maryland.gov.

4.2-mile trail connects Ballenger Creek area to Buckeystown

The final section of a 4.2-mile paved trail that connects Ballenger Creek Park to Buckeystown Pike and runs along Ballenger Creek is complete, announced Frederick County Parks and Recreation. The trail is open from sunrise to sunset and is ideal for walkers, joggers, skaters and cyclists. It links residential communities to schools, parks, places of business and entertainment while also serving as a recreational facility. For more information on parking/access locations and a map of the trail, visit www.recreater.com.

Deer management reduction to be conducted in NPS park

Between Nov. 16 and March 31, 2021, the National Park Service will conduct deer management operations in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C., to reduce the deer population to help protect and restore native plants and promote a healthy, diverse forest. Biologists, who are also highly trained firearms experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will be working with NPS and U.S. Park Police to conduct reduction actions at night. Extensive safety measures will be in place to protect park visitors and neighbors during these operations. The venison will be donated to DC Central Kitchen. For more information, visit https://go.nps.gov/rockcreekdeer.

Two deer conservation, management organizations merge

The Quality Deer Management Association and the National Deer Alliance have merged to form the National Deer Association. The mission of the new nonprofit is to promote wise stewardship of North America’s most iconic and important wild game animal. The NDA has identified a strategic plan that calls for a focus of effort in four areas: Education and outreach; Field to Fork adult hunter recruitment program and growing hunter numbers; policy and advocacy; and response to deer diseases such as the always-fatal chronic wasting disease. For more information on the new NDA, visit www.deerassociation.com.

Full moon, winter solstice hikes planned

Strawberry Hill Nature Center, 1537 Mount Hope Road, Fairfield, Pennsylvania, will host full moon hikes at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 29 and Jan. 28. Hikers will listen for owls and other nocturnal animals. Winter solstice hikes begin at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22. Learn about the history of the solstice and celebrate the return of the sun. For information on other programs, registration and COVID-19 protocols, call 717-642-5840 or visit www. strawberryhill.org.

— Susan Guynn

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