On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch were presented with the Maryland Horse Council’s 2014 Leadership Awards in Annapolis at the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
MHC President Jane Seigler and Legislative Committee Chair Steuart Pittman presented the awards in front of over 50 horse people during the Horse Council’s quarterly meeting. The awards were given in appreciation of President Miller’s and Speaker Busch’s leadership in the Maryland General Assembly, and their willingness to give a thoughtful ear and respectful consideration to all of the issues presented to them by Horse Council, most notably in this session the issue of expanded Sunday deer hunting.
With the help of senate and house leadership and lobbyist Frank Boston, MHC was successful in defeating efforts that would have increased the number of Sundays for deer hunting in Southern Maryland. Unfortunately, efforts failed to stop the expansion elsewhere, and yesterday Governor Martin O’Malley signed the two bills authorizing expanded Sunday hunting in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett Counties. While there has been a steady march of additional Sunday deer hunting on private land hither and thither throughout Maryland since 2003, this is the first time Sunday hunting has been expanded to include public lands.
Meanwhile, representatives from the Department of Natural Resources continue to insist that these laws will help them control excessive numbers of white-tailed deer, and that they are “unlikely” to use all of the Sundays granted in the legislation, and are “unlikely” to use their public land option.
We will see.
Watch for a report on the MHC quarterly meeting in an upcoming issue of The Equiery.