Chesapeake Outdoors
Busting Targets to Restore Quail
by C.D. Dollar

"Man, they even have this thing catered," said Team Voodoo member Mike McGuane as we walked up to register for the 4th Annual Sporting Clays Tournament. He was referring to the guy with the beard in the chef's jacket slapping marinade on emu, pheasant and venison on the grill.

"That's no chef," I said, "that's Rob Jepson, chairman of the Chesapeake Chapter of Quail Unlimited and one of the driving forces behind the group that hosted the shoot at Pintail Point near Easton." Turned out I was wrong. Rob was, in fact, an excellent grill master, but more importantly, he and the other QU guys represented the quintessential grassroots organization volunteer, doing whatever necessary to promote their cause, quail habitat restoration.

"The beauty of the Chesapeake Chapter is that all the funds raised today will stay here locally to be used in habitat restoration," said Jepson, who never got a chance to bust a target because he was so busy with other aspects of the day.

Like many other creatures around the Chesapeake watershed, quail have been severely depleted by overharvesting and development. Rob's aim is to bring them back by partnering with private landowners and farmers as well as federal programs like the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and such state agencies as Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The projects vary in size from several acres to dozens of acres. Native, warm-season grasses, like Big Blue Stem and Indian grass, will be planted to as food and habitat plots. Parts of Anne Arundel and Calvert counties have been restored as well as land on the Eastern Shore.

Overall, the day raised several thousand dollars earmarked for restoration in our area, and for the record, Team Allgood took top honors. (Team Voodoo, led by area hunting guide Kevin Colbeck's 44 out of 50 targets, finished third, despite this writer's worst - or best? - efforts to drop them a notch or two.)

After the shoot, nearly 100 shooters feasted on grilled delights and gave their compliments to the chef, as much for his culinary prowess as for his commitment to habitat restoration.

To join the Chesapeake Chapter of Quail Unlimited, call 410/757-0887.


Fish Are Biting

Charlie at Angler's (410/974-4013) says that rockfishing has picked up, and people are catching them eeling and jigging with feather jigs at the Bay Bridge pilings. Chummers at West River have taken some rock and the occasional sea trout.

Fred Donovan from Rod 'n' Reel (800/233-2080) says that the headboat Tom Hooker has done great at night on hardheads. Some anglers off Breezy Point have been into breaking schools of rockfish, including several that are of legal size.

Rick from Rick's Marine (301/872-4355) in Point Lookout said a small cobia was taken from shore off Point Lookout earlier this week and reports several Spanish mackerel catches. Flounder fishing has increased, and the hardhead action remains dynamite. Big tiderunners (sea trout) measuring greater than 30 inches have been taken in deep water near Buoy 70 and 72, along with good-sized rockfish.

| Issue 23 |

Volume VII Number 23
June 10-16, 1999
New Bay Times

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