Updated: Dec 17, 2020
By Bryan Spann, Fort Meade Public Affairs
The Patuxent Research Refuge, located just south of Fort Meade is hosting its first ever
mentored deer hunt. The wildlife refuge was established in 1936 to support wildlife research and has grown to more than 12 thousand acres.
The hunt is a partnership between the refuge, the National Wild Turkey Federation Maryland
State Chapter, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural
Resources. The intention is to introduce first time adult hunters (18 and older) to hunting with
the assistance of experienced hunters or mentors.
“Studies have shown a decline in hunting in general,” says Jason Cangelosi, Visitor Services
Manager at the refuge, “People are becoming more urban. Even the land around here, people are getting more urban versus the rural lifestyles that used to be. It used to be a cultural thing where people would pass it (hunting skills) down from generation to generation, but people have just stopped hunting. The older crowd has aged out and have stopped hunting and haven't passed it down to younger generations. So, the hunt is a way to introduce folks to it, it's a great pastime, a healthy activity for the environment and for the people involved.”
The refuge wants to get at least 15 mentors for the hunt which takes place Saturday,
December 5th . Cangelosi says that they'd like to have the mentors volunteer by the first week of November. At that point, he'll hold a video conference with the mentors to answer questions and help them prepare for a range day on November 15 th for shooting practice.
While you can't have a mentored hunt with hunters, mentees are needed as well.
“If folks want to get involved and want to learn how to hunt, they can certainly do that as well,” says Cangelosi. “The best way to do that is to google Maryland DNR mentored hunt.It'lll take you right to a page, you'll scroll down, you'll see Patuxent hunt, just click and fill out an application.”
(Editor’s note: Experienced hunters wanting to be a mentor can call Jason Cangelosi at 301-497-5766)