Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center to Host National Get Outdoors Day June 7, 2014

From Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center:

3/17/2014 Update: Event date is June 7

The Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center (HODC) in Eden, MD, will host the 7th Annual National Get Outdoors Day from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014. This event encourages healthy, active outdoor fun and is free to attend, thanks to the Hazel Foundation and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

Exhibitors from local outdoor organizations, parks, and museums will team up at the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center to offer hands-on outdoor experiences for families. Prime goals of the day are reaching currently underserved populations and reconnecting our youth to nature. Kids can learn about archery, firearm safety, fishing, wildlife watching, kayaking, hiking, and more. Parents can learn about organizations that help kids develop safe and healthy habits while exploring our great Delmarva outdoors. Free lunch will be offered to all and free t-shirts will be provided to the first 400 kids.

The pilot effort of National Get Outdoors Day was launched on June 14, 2008. Building on the success of No Child Left Inside and other important efforts to connect Americans – and especially children – with nature and active lifestyles, national conservation organizations agreed to lead an inclusive, nationwide effort focusing on a single day when people would be inspired and motivated to get outdoors. Last year, over 50 official GO Day sites across the nation from the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center in Eden, MD, to the Big Bear Discovery Center in the San Bernardino National Forest welcomed thousands of new faces to the joy and benefits of the great outdoors.

The Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center was the vision of Richard F. Hazel, Eastern Shore philanthropist and former president of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Salisbury. Mr. Hazel loved the outdoors. More importantly, he loved seeing kids connect with nature at his “farm” on Cooper Road in Eden, Maryland.

An avid sportsman until his untimely passing in February 2008, Mr. Hazel spent much of his free time at his 500+ acre preserve. With his friends and family, he maintained the property as a haven for wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and endangered Delmarva fox squirrels. While he enjoyed his quiet mornings hunting alone on his farm, Mr. Hazel truly enjoyed lending the property to scouts and youth groups for a variety of daytime activities and overnight camping experiences. The HODC is proud to carry on this tradition today.

For more information about National Get Outdoors Day, please visit: http://www.nationalgetoutdoorsday.org.

For more information about the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center, please visit: http://www.hazeloutdoors.org

Walk Review: Goshen Farm (Annapolis area)

Goshen Farm is a hidden gem on the Broadneck Peninsula near Annapolis, Maryland. This property is heavily wooded with a dozen winding trails, an open field, an historic farm house with outbuildings and a community garden.

The 22 acre property is owned by the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, which means it is actually public school property.

Even though this is school property, it is entirely maintained by a nonprofit organization named the Goshen Farm Preservation Society, so everything you see there has been built, developed, renovated and cared for by a large group of volunteers.

When you visit, you will want to bring both of these documents from www.goshenfarm.org:

For those visitors who enjoy the property, you can join the Goshen Farm Preservation Society and help restore the farm as an historical and educational center.

Skin a deer in two minutes, Cut the meat in eight minutes

These are amazing videos below. Kurt Heid of Heid Wild Game has a detailed instructional video on how to cut like this. The web site is www.heidwildgame.com. He also sells knives, hooks, and seasoning kits.

Video #1 Skin a deer in two minutes  Video #2  Cut the meat in eight minutes (debone)

Walk Review: Ferry Point trail at Wye Island

We went for a walk on Saturday in the Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area on the Eastern Shore. There is no entrance fee and it has several trails. The trail we walked is called Ferry Point, and is the furthest point from the Wye Island Bridge, the entrance to the property.

The road to get there was part dirt and part gravel (mostly gravel), and because of the recent snow and rain, it was muddy. We took the family sedan, but I would have preferred the 4×4 instead, given the conditions. With the mud on either side of much of the one-lane road, if we were to go a couple feet off the road, the car would have been stuck.

From the MD DNR description:

This scenic hike on Wye Island allows visitors a taste of history as well as an excellent wildlife viewing. Ferry Point was once the only access to Wye Island across the Wye River from Queen Anne’s County. The trail ends at a sandy beach where the ferry once landed. A picnic area is at the end of the trail for those packing a lunch.

It did feel like we were walking down an ancient road. As you can see from the photos below, the trail consists mostly of a very long stretch to the water, bordered by trees with fields on either side.

The trail itself was muddy in spots, but not too muddy to walk and have a good time. The trail goes from the parking area to the water, where there is a very small beach and a picnic table. There was a small trail, called Jack In The Pulpit, that goes off the main trail through woods, and loops back. Geese were flying over our heads as we walked, and on the drive out of the area we saw three deer in a field next to the road. We look forward to heading back to Wye Island to explore the four other trails.

wye island ferry point trail 1 SMALL
Looking down Ferry Point Trail towards the river.
wye island ferry point trail 2 SMALL
A view of Wye River
wye island ferry point trail 3 SMALL
Jack In The Pulpit Trail

2014 Spring Turkey Hunting in Maryland

From the National Wild Turkey Federation: What does a wild turkey look like? 

See Griffin’s Guide: Getting Started With Turkeys: What Do You Actually Need?

From Maryland DNR: 

April 18 through May 9: one-half hour before sunrise to noon.
Junior Hunt and May 10 through May 23: one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Only bearded turkeys are legal in the spring season. Hunters may only use shotguns loaded with #4 shot or smaller, crossbows, or vertical bows. Dogs and organized drives may not be used.

Licensing Requirements

A Regular Hunting License, Junior Hunting License, Senior Hunting License or Nonresident Hunting License is required to hunt turkeys. See Licenses, Stamps & Permits for descriptions, prices, and availability of licenses, stamps, and permits.

General Turkey Hunting Regulations

It is illegal to bait for spring and fall turkey hunting, use recorded or electronically amplified calls, or use motorized or electronic turkey decoys. An area is considered by law to be baited for 10 days after removal of the bait.

Note: Feed or bait placed for deer or other wildlife may be considered baiting if turkeys are being hunted.

Turkey Tagging and Checking Requirements

The complete instructions for deer and turkey tagging and checking are found on Tagging & Checking.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, Thurmont, Maryland

Animals from around the world and here at home are featured at Maryland’s Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. This is a great weekend adventure for families from all over the region.

From YouTube: 

http://www.cwpzoo.com presents a 2-minute tour of Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, just 20 minutes north of Frederick, MD on US RT 15. The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo is divided into distinct habitat areas that represent the many habitats of the world. Here you will find small furry things and large scaly thing as well as everything in between.

We are home to 1100 animals that represent 319 species not including amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Among them are bears to boas, lions to lemurs, macaws to monkeys, porcupines to pythons, you’ll meet over 450 exotic animals on your zoo adventure as well as many you’ll find closer to home.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is one of the finest private zoos on the east coast. Long-term efforts to sustain and expand the population of animals in protected environments have resulted in successfully breeding multiple generations of rare and endangered animals, including:

Ring-tailed and Ruffed Lemurs, Bengal Tigers, Sun Bears, Scarlet Macaws, Cottontop Tamarins, Geoffroy’s Marmosets, Jaguars, Australian Dingos, Asian Fishing Cats, Yellow-fronted Amazon Parrots, Swinhoe Pheasants, Booted Macaques, Tonkean Macaques, Yellow Anaconda and Monocle Cobra.

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