May 15, 2002

The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
State House
Annapolis MD 21401

Dear Mr. Speaker:

In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 9 - Deer Management Plans - Increased Harvest.

House Bill 9 increases the deer firearms season from 13 to at least 21 days, including the first Sunday of the season. The Sunday hunting provision does not apply in: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George's, Queen Anne's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester Counties; Baltimore City; and the City of Frederick.

Under current law, the Department of Natural Resources has the authority to promulgate regulations establishing a hunting season, except on Sundays, to hunt forest and upland game birds and mammals. House Bill 9 restates the Department's current authority to increase the harvest in a region where the deer population is or will become a threat to public health or safety, or create a nuisance, because the population exceeds the carrying capacity of the zone. Proper management of the State's deer population is a complex problem requiring careful consideration of all the issues before reaching a conclusion.

Our outdoor resources should be shared fairly by everyone. Currently, Sunday during hunting season is the only day of the week when outdoor recreation such as hiking, picnicking, birdwatching, photography, angling, horseback riding, and other non-hunting activities can occur in the State's natural areas without the fear of nearby hunting. Many naturalist societies routinely schedule nature field trips only on Sundays during hunting season to be certain they will avoid the interference and potential danger from hunting. I have received numerous letters from persons across Maryland opposing House Bill 9 because they would lose the certainty of having one weekend day during hunting season when their families and children can safely enjoy the outdoors.

For the above reasons, I have vetoed House Bill 9.

Parris N. Glendening