The Sad Death of Maryland Sportsmen’s Association

The Sad Death of the Maryland Sportsmen’s Association
Let this be a hard lesson for sportsmen and sportswomen everywhere.

New Jersey Outdoor Alliance
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance

Maryland –-( ending quietly last month was the Maryland Sportsmen’s Association, not quite 10 years old, the result of hunter apathy and sloppy paperwork.

Without the anti-hunting policies of the Parris Glendening administration to fire up the grass roots and with legislation breaking its way, MSA lost a lot of its raison d’etre.

“Nothing bad was happening. There were still little fights, but nothing scary,” said Wendy Donahoo, MSA’s final president.

Even worse, the founding fathers of MSA neglected to incorporate the organization, something that didn’t come to Donahoo’s attention until it was too late. When a group of hunters legally took the name for its club, MSA no longer had an identity.

At its zenith, MSA was the umbrella organization for sportsmen’s clubs statewide, with a membership of more than 5,000.

What did it accomplish?

  • It lobbied successfully for the bear hunt, Sunday hunting and increased bag limits.
  • It helped bridge differences between archery hunters during the creation of crossbow regulations.
  • And in 2000, when budget cuts closed two state campgrounds in Western Maryland just before the start of deer season, MSA volunteers kept them open.

Now, there’s nothing left. And nothing is just what hunters are going to get. As a smart friend of mine said Friday:

“Now is not the time to park the car and walk away. Now is the time to keep the foot on the accelerator.”

The animal rights community already has taken notice.

Here’s my prediction:

  • Expect heavy incoming rounds.
  • Expect some serious anti-hunting legislation next session.
  • Expect lobbyists in bear suits in the halls of Annapolis.
  • Expect to lose some hunting opportunities.

And you know what, hunters? You deserve it.

Anthony P. Mauro, Sr.
Chairman, New Jersey Outdoor Alliance
“We’ve got your back!”

NJOACF Council Members: Reef Rescue * NJ State Federation Sportsmen’s Clubs * Jersey Coast Anglers Association * Trout Unlimited * National Wild Turkey Federation * NJ Beach Buggy Association * Hudson River Fishermen’s Association * United Bow Hunters NJ * New Jersey Council Diving Clubs * NJ Trappers Association * NJ Forestry Association * Society of American Foresters * Quail Unlimited * Ruffed Grouse Society * National Animal Interest Alliance Trust * Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association * NJOA