The B-CC Chapter of the IWLA's property, the 623-acre “Doc Holton” Conservation Farm, is home to several species of birds & mammals designated by the state of Maryland with legal hunting seasons, generally in the autumn / winter of each year.
The B-CC chapter supports the ethical hunting by its members of most of these species, whitetail deer and wild turkey being by far the most prevalent, as a component of the overall conservation plan for the farm's fields, woods, and open spaces.
Game species like the whitetail deer and wild turkey are the most often-hunted species on the B-CC IWLA Conservation Farm. As such, these species receive considerable attention in designing the chapter's conservation strategies on the farm: planting trees, planting food & cover crops, clearing invasive species that crowd food sources, etc. Hunting itself, however, is not the singular goal of these efforts. There is no stocking of game species of any kind for hunting on the Conservation Farm.
Bethesda Chevy-Chase Chapter members who hunt on the 623-acre "Doc Holden" Conservation Farm must comply with chapter regulations before hunting, while hunting, and after the hunt.
Rules for hunting on the B-CC IWLA Conservation Farm are updated annually by the chapter Hunting Ethics & Oversight Committee with the approval of the chapter Board of Governors.
As conservators of wildlife, woodlands, and open space, the B-CC IWLA chapter also strongly supports hunting ethics that go above beyond rules codified in state, local, and chapter regulations. Ethical hunters "do the right thing, even when nobody else is around." Ethical hunters learn "the right thing to do" through hunter education, through practice, and through hunting and sharing experiences with other ethical hunters.
B-CC IWLA chapter members are legally de facto owners of the chapter conservation farm. The MD Department of Natural Resources considers a current chapter membership card to be equivalent to written permission for each member to hunt on the B-CC Conservation Farm. The B-CC IWLA Board of Governors has established the following additional conditions that chapter members must meet to hunt, and continue to hunt on the conservation farm property:
Chapter members must read, understand, and acknowledge their understanding of the B-CC IWLA Chapter Hunting Rules through the B-CC Annual Hunting Registration System before hunting on the chapter conservation farm.
Chapter members must be in good standing (dues paid to-date) and carry their B-CC IWLA membership cards on their persons at all times while hunting and transporting harvested game on conservation farm property. Without this current membership card in their possession, hunters may be sanctioned the B-CC IWLA chapter and are subject to prosecution by the MD Natural Resources Police. Chapter members are further encouraged to be aware of other hunters around them on the property, both for safety's and chapter security's sake. Chapter members are expected tor readily comply when asked to produce their valid hunting licenses and current membership cards.
Chapter members must display their numbered B-CC chapter decals, fully visible from outside the vehicle, either in or on their vehicles at all times while hunting and transporting harvested game on conservation farm property. This is especially important for chapter members who park on the periphery of the chapter conservation farm property. The B-CC IWLA chapter will vigorously investigate vehicles not properly displaying these decals in its efforts to prevent tresspassing and poaching. B-CC IWLA chapter members are strongly encouraged to park in the parking areas within the main electronic gate, or behind the locked chapter gates along West Williard Road and Izaak Walton Way. A key to these gates can be purchased, for members who do not already own one, from the current chapter Membership Secretary.
Chapter members must abide by all state, local, and chapter rules at all times while hunting and transporting harvested game on conservation farm property. Chapter members must pay extra respect & attention to, and rigorously observe, chapter borders while hunting. The B-CC IWLA chapter does not condone its members' trespassing onto neighboring property nor the tresspassing of others within the boundaries of the chapter conservation farm. Hunting on the wrong side of a property line (without written permission from the appropriate landowner) rises from trespassing to poaching. In addition to potential legal penalties, B-CC IWLA chapter members who stray from the conservation farm while hunting, and have not acquired the necessary prior express permission from those landowners, will also be sanctioned by the chapter Hunting Ethics & Oversight Committee. Such sanctions generally include lengthy suspension of chapter hunting priviledges.
Chapter members are expected to treat any harvested game humanely, and with dignity and respect. This includes removing any dressing debris discreetly away from chapter trails and public areas. Such debris is never to be placed into trash containers or dumpsters, but left to the crows and other scavengers that help keep the conservation farm naturally clean. Chapter members are strongly encouraged to tarp or cover any harvested game before leaving the conservation farm. Likewise, chapter members should strongly consider performing any personal "sprucing up" necessary to avoid displaying the very-honorable-to-many, but distateful-to-a-few nonetheless, glaring signs of game harvesting and dressing.
Hunters who are not current B-CC IWLA chapter members are under NO circumstances permitted at ANY TIME on the B-CC IWLA Conservation Farm. Youth escorted for hunting on the B-CC IWLA Conservation Farm must be legal dependants of the chapter members escorting them on the property.
Within the framework of state & local laws, within the bounds of the B-CC IWLA Chapter Hunting Rules, and in the spirit of safe, ethical outdoorsmen, B-CC IWLA chapter members are enthusiastically encouraged to hunt the chapter conservation farm. Members who hunt the property become more aware of the value of the B-CC chapter's conservation efforts across the entire farm. Youth who learn to hunt on the conservation farm will have a whole new view of the way we fit into the cycle of nature. Every boy or girl who gets the opportunity to sit in a deerstand, crouch in a turkey blind, or hunt the ground for rabbits, dove, or squirrel across the chapter conservation farm stands a much greater chance of blossoming into a lifelong conservationist who will carry that ingrained conservation ethic with him or her for the rest of his or her life.