SHORE Sporting Life Digital

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TA B L E COVER STORY: The Sporting Life Kaci Willey on growing up with a focus on the outdoors

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STRANGE TAILS: Huntsman’s best friend Advice from around the Shore on what makes a hunting dog

The American tradition of bourbon 6

PROFILES: On the Bay Full-day fishing with Captain Herman Haddaway

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HIGH SPIRITS: I’ll have mine neat



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SHOP TALK: Rod & Reel Shore Tackle and Custom Rods is a fisherman’s paradise


62 GUN SHY: Taking a shot Talbot Rod & Gun Club Combines Tradition and Service

4-H shooting sports engaging youth in tradition

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ATMOSPHERE: Aiming to keep a legacy alive

STAGE LEFT: Ahead of the Game

WAYFARING: A Reel good time Mid-Shore Fishing Guide

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ABOUT THE COVER Audrey Wozny captures the elegance of an outdoor lifestyle

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EDITORS’ NOTE President Jim Normandin

Ah, the sporting life. The great outdoors! This was our focus (if you couldn’t tell) this month and it could not have felt more natural for our team.

Editors Eli Wohlenhaus Jonathan Carter

With any publication comes a lot of planning mixed with some good fortune. This edition of SHORE was that to a tee. With our ideas fleshed out, all we needed next was a spot of good fortune, which came in the form of how these stories turned out. What we planned turned out so much better than we had envisioned, completing the duo of preparedness and luck. All thanks to our brilliant writers, photographers and designers. Preparedness and luck may be how we describe putting together a magazine, but one may also argue that it is a way to explain hunting and fishing. Synergy! Autumn is such a crucial time for sporting life, but it is even more so when it comes to life here on the Eastern Shore. Our counties come alive with festivals, tournaments and celebrations as we welcome our neighbors from across the street and travelers from all over the country to enjoy our rural paradise. We are glad you have picked up this edition of SHORE to make a part of your fall fun. Our planning and good fortune for each issue is because we work with so many good people. The list is endless to thank, especially for such a large edition as this, but we are so grateful to all of our internal associates who help make this possible and our partners in the community.

Regional Advertising Director Betsy Griffin 443-239-0307 Creative Director Greg Mueller Page Design Jennifer Quinn Meredith Dean Eli Wohlenhaus

Editorial Liaison Amelia Blades Stewart Contributing Photographers Audrey Wozny Arden Haley Tracey F. Johns Amelia Blades Steward Conrad Arnold

Jonathan Carter

Contributing Writers Debra Messick Niambi Davis Amelia Blades Steward Tracey F. Johns Caroline Shively Sucher Katie Begley Editorial Contact 443-666-4419 Submissions Subscriptions 410-770-4005 29088 Airpark Drive Easton, MD 21601

Thank you for another successful issue of SHORE magazine!

— Jonathan and Eli Shore Magazine is published by The Star Democrat. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher.


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Kaci Willey and her family detail generations of growing up with a focus on the outdoors Story by Niambi Davis | Photos by Audrey Wozny


ith fields, marsh, wood and water, its iconic beauty is why the Eastern Shore ranks consistently at the top of the best places to visit. And for many, to live. In 1960, John and Mildred Ciekot moved from Baltimore and settled on 120 acres of land they purchased in Hudson, near the town of Cambridge. The Ciekots gave 20 acres of the land to Danny and Wanda Ciekot; parents of David Ciekot, and 20 to Steve and Bonnie McCollister, the parents of Amanda Willey. “David and I were more like brother and sister than cousins,” Amanda recalled. “The farm, as we called it, had a long lane with the houses spaced out so that everyone had their own place.”

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When their grandparents passed away, she and David became owners of the remaining acres. David moved to their grandparent’s farm, while Amanda lived in Cambridge with her husband Brian and their daughter Kaci. In 2020, she and David sold their portion of the farm. “It was the hardest thing David and I had to do, but it was probably the best. Now my parents are the only family still there.” Although Amanda and her family live in town, Kaci is still able to enjoy the place her mother and David loved as children. “We’re definitely an outdoor family,” Amanda said. Although she’s not as actively involved in outdoor life as other members of her family, she does like being on the water and watching it from a peaceful quiet place. “On the other hand, my cousin David’s whole life revolves around the outdoors. And he’s an avid hunter — deer, goose duck — you name it, he hunts it. When bear hunting came back to Western Maryland, Dave got the first bear that year.” On his land, David formed his own gun club and named it Bon Repose Cove, which means “good rest” in French. The name originated from his discovery of an old tax map showing a cove with the same name near their property. Even their beloved Labrador and Golden Retrievers carry the name, with shortened versions for dispensing everyday affection and treats: Bon Repose Cove Evil Hearted Woman (Evie); Bon Repose Cove Hockey Puck (Puck); Bon Repose Cove Rum and Cola (Cola), and Bon Repose Cove Flaming Ember (Ember). Amanda’s daughter Kaci refers to David as Uncle Dave. But, as she points out, “since I’m the only child on that side of the family, he actually treats me more like I’m his own daughter.” Kaci, now a senior at Cambridge South Dorchester High School, fully embraces outdoor life. She was a little girl when Uncle Dave first took her hunting. “I didn’t have the patience for it,” she said. But when he took her out on the water, fishing quickly became her favorite outdoor sport and the foundation for some of her best childhood experiences. There was a definite ritual that began on the farm the night before. S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


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First would be dinner, followed by cartoons when she was younger and movies when she grew older. The next morning after breakfast, they’d spend the day on the water. The outing always ended with a milkshake from nearby Soft and Salty’s. Back at the farm they’d clean their catch and cook it for dinner. “Uncle Dave is also very creative,” Kaci said. “He makes his own muzzleloaders. He’d let me watch the process and then work with him to create the guns he used for hunting. Sometimes I would go with him to muzzleloader clubs and to target practice.” Outside of outdoor life, Kaci’s passion is dance. “I’ve been dancing since I was three,” she said. After graduation, she ‘s considering college and a degree in exercise science. Amanda describes her daughter’s commitment to dance as an “ironic twist of fate.” Kaci’s great-grandmother Mildred, one of the original owners of the land, was herself a professional dancer who at one time performed at the World’s Fair. “I believe my grandmother gave Kaci to me,”

Amanda said. “She takes her dedication to dance from my grandmother and the love of the outdoors from my grandfather and Dave. She’s inherited the best of both parts of her heritage.” And Kaci has always loved the quiet life. “I don’t like cities with lots of people and traffic,” she said. “I like it calm and quiet.” It wasn’t always so with her mother. “When I was really young I didn’t like it that my friends weren’t close and I couldn’t just go down the street to see them,” Amanda recalled. “But when I came back home from college at Frostburg [State University], I really came to appreciate where I lived and the way I grew up. There was a peace in that lifestyle,” she said, recalling summertime crabbing, gardening and caring for the chickens with her grandfather. “To see Kaci do the same with Dave means a lot to me.” Family life means fishing and hunting, but it also means coming together over a good meal. “We’re very big on eating what we catch,” Amanda said. At the center of a traditional January family meal S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M



I don’t like cities with lots of people and traffic... I like it calm and quiet.

was her grandmother’s old English recipe for rabbit — not roasted, fried or stewed — this was sour rabbit, for which Dave substituted deer instead. He marinated the meat for 72 hours in a sour sauce and put it in a crockpot to cook all night into the next day. “To go along with the deer, we’d make the dumplings from scratch,” Amanda said. To finish it off, the sour sauce was made into gravy. “It took every pot in the kitchen but it was so good. One year when we did sour deer Dave made a separate crockpot of bear. It was phenomenal. And bear tastes like whatever it ate last,” Amanda reported with the authority of experience. “If you get a bear that’s been eating salmon, it’s very fishy. Our bear must have been eating berries; it was very sweet. I’m glad we got the berry bear!” Through the love of family, land and traditions, the descendants of Mildred and John Ciekot honor their legacy. And if you ask Amanda Willey if the phrase “life is good on the Eastern Shore” is accurate, her reply is “absolutely.” S 20

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HERMAN HADDAWAY Story and photos by Tracey F. Johns


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aptain Herman Haddaway Jr. of Easton and Screaming Eagle Charters in Neavitt knows a thing or two about fishing and hunting along the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore in Talbot County. That’s because Haddaway has spent his entire life connecting to these waterways and mastering the art of bountiful fishing and hunting. Born in Easton and raised in Neavitt, Haddaway’s deep knowledge of the bay’s brackish tides and currents has been cultivated and nurtured over generations of family members working decades on or around the water.

Haddaway said he fished these same waters as a young boy with his grandfather — a local waterman who crabbed and oystered, known as Captain Shank. He continued to recreationally fish and hunt out of Neavitt throughout his adulthood and 30+ year career as a law enforcement officer with the Easton and St. Michaels Police Departments


Now, Herman Haddaway Jr. is retired from his law enforcement career and has worked full-time as a certified charter fishing captain since 2010, offering year-round, half-day, and

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full-day fishing and hunting excursions on the Screaming Eagle. He takes chartered groups of up to six people out on the Screaming Eagle on these familiar waters to catch rockfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and more each spring through midNovember, with sea and diver duck hunting offered from mid-November through the end of January. It’s here that Haddaway shares his understanding of the bay’s nuances for finding fishing and hunting spots with other outdoor enthusiasts who love being on the water. His first charter fishing boat, Miss Jeannie, was built by his father, Herman Haddaway Sr., and named after his sister, Jeannie HaddawayRiccio, who once served as the youngest member in Maryland’s House of Delegates and is now Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources. Herman’s brother Ronnie Haddaway also maintains a deep connection to the Chesapeake Bay, continuing in his father Herman Haddaway Sr.’s footsteps making a lifelong career as a respected boat builder. Haddaway generally leaves the dock in Neavitt as early as 5:00 a.m. for his morning fishing or hunting parties, which also gives him and his mate, 25-year-old son Brendan, the opportunity to see the light emerge in each day’s rising sun. “It never gets old,” says Haddaway, when I ask about the sun peeking over the horizon and casting over another nearby charter fishing boat. “Every sunrise is different.”


I was able to climb aboard the Screaming Eagle this past September to do some live-line fishing using Spot for catching rockfish and bluefish, and to witness that sunrise myself. We started at 5:30 a.m. in the total darkness of Neavitt Landing, where Haddaway keeps his boat. The Screaming Eagle’s humming diesel engine and dimmed blue deck lights greeted me alongside Captain Herman Haddaway and son Brendan. I gratefully was offered a hand while hopping on board the 32’ Trojan converted deadrise, which offers a steady ride on its 13-foot beam. Part of the beauty of going charter fishing 26

is also how light you can pack for a day of fishing. The captain and his mate take care of having the bait and tackle you need already on board and will help take fish off and bait up your hook throughout the trip. I stowed my water, snacks and clothes for the day’s warming weather down below and went straight to the head before we left the dock. The cabin space is spacious inside, with lots of places for guests to sit or stand. Windows generously open to catch summer’s cross breezes, with heat available to keep it comfortable in the colder months. The captain’s seat includes all the controls for operating the boat and includes GPS and radar to help navigate through this morning’s darkness toward our first fishing spot.

It’s a dance they continue when we begin fishing a little later, moving about with an ease and rhythm known only to people who do things together for quite a long time I notice both Haddaways move about the boat with few words spoken to one another, working in tandem to untie the lines, check the radar and set our destination on GPS. It’s a dance they continue when we begin fishing a little later, moving about with an ease and rhythm known only to people who do things together for quite a long time — while they work together baiting lines, moving the boat over schooling fish, and netting up the day’s catch of rockfish and bluefish. We begin by idling out of Balls Creek, through Broad Creek, the Choptank River and into the Chesapeake Bay to find our first fishing spot. Our only light comes from the glow from Haddaway’s instrument panel and the boat’s running lights. His GPS shows a lot of history in past trips marked by numerous lines on the screen and holds the secrets to navigating toward some of Haddaway’s best spots. Today, 10-15 knot winds and choppy waters greet us as we arrive where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Choptank River. Stripers, or rockfish, are running and the sweet aroma of brackish air surrounds this 68-degree

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Plus, we have our own community of charter fishing captains that look out for one another while we are out here.


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start of the day. The boat’s Cummins QSB 380 diesel offers a steady baritone hum, while sonar shows dabbles of debris and bottom as we swiftly travel on plane to our fishing destination. We drop anchor and confirm its hold. Off to the morning’s darker horizon to the west are twinkling lights from a waiting tanker ready to clear passage to Baltimore Harbor and from the power plant at Calvert Cliffs. The sun rises over another fishing boat, the Chesapeake Lady II out of Tilghman Island, and the two captains talk over the radio with morning greetings and fishing reports. My first bite is a rockfish, plenty of size for the season’s limit, and sure to be tasty for dinner later on. I like a certain fight in my fishing also, so our next catch of plentiful bluefish had my reel zinging and the cooler soon filling with fish. It’s a great start to any day. Haddaway says they continue to use Spot for light tackle fishing spring through fall — depending on the weather, and then switch to trolling with lures and planer boards for trophy rockfishing each spring.


While we were heading in, I asked Haddaway if he felt he was more in the fishing business, or the people business.

“It’s a combination of both,” said Haddaway, “There’s a lot of questions, and you get to meet a lot of different kinds of people along the way. Plus, we have our own community of charter fishing captains that look out for one another while we are out here.” That sentiment certainly rang true as we pulled up our lines and headed back to Neavittby way of Knapps Narrows and Tilghman Island. After hitting fish after fish on all our lines, Haddaway radioed over to the neighboring boat to invite them to take his spot right over a school of bluefish.


Haddaway offers a unique “Cast-n-Blast” full-day excursion package each November which includes sea duck hunting for the first 3-4 hours of the morning and fishing in the afternoon for an equal amount of time. Haddaway says these excursions are booked at least a year in advance, with most parties he’s hosted coming from Pennsylvania and local areas. Additionally, he offers sunset wine cruises in the summer months for those that don’t want to fish and just want a day out on the water. You can book your next fishing or hunting excursion aboard the Screaming Eagle by visiting S

The writer of the stor y, Tracey F. Johns, is photographed here with her late husband, Cur tis P. Johns. Tracey said this stor y meant so much to her to write because Cur tis was a char ter fishing captain in S omerset Count y before his passing in 2017. S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


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Hunts Advice from around the Shore on what makes a hunting dog

Story by Caroline Shively Sucher| Photos by Arden Haley


t’s not easy being the perfect duck dog. To make it in the world of waterfowl hunting, dogs have to be great swimmers, excellent trackers, hard workers, and fast learners. But there is one quality that Larry Hindman of the Talbot Retriever Club says is more important than any of that. “It’s that fire in the belly,” Hindman explained. “He’s got to have that prey desire. You can’t put it in them, it’s got to be bred in them.” Breeders have been trying to instill that “fire in the belly” in hunting dogs for hundreds of


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years, striving for the perfect combination of brains and brawn with each generation. For hunting waterfowl, it is especially important for breeders and trainers to get it right since these pups often face harsh weather and tough terrain in pre-dawn hunts. Here’s a closer look at three types of dogs that Maryland breeders told us are the best of the best for hunting waterfowl.


As the most popular dog breed in America, it’s easy to forget that Labrador Retrievers are first


best friend

STRANGE TAILS and foremost hunting dogs, happy to plunge into icy waters to bring back a downed bird. “They’re loyal, friendly, quiet, they will work their hearts out and they’re absolute geniuses on long-distance retrieves,” said John Posoli of Annapolis Labradors. Physically, they’re a perfect fit for the job with a double coat of fur that insulates them from the cold, and powerful muscles that make them excellent swimmers. Mentally, Labs are a match as well. They’re quick learners who are smart enough to remember the location of a duck as it falls from sky

to water, then track it down and bring it back to their master with a “soft mouth,” not damaging the bird. “You’ve got to keep in mind these dogs are conservation tools. Our dogs are going to find nearly every bird that is hunted or shot. These dogs are incredibly talented to mark a downed bird, and they have incredible noses,” Hindman said.


Hindman also recommends Chesapeake Bay Retrievers for hunting waterfowl but

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added “they can be a little ornery and hard-headed.” In case you think Hindman is biased since he breeds and hunts with Labs, you can ask Loura Waid, owner of ChesShores Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. “This breed is definitely a breed that needs a lot of obedience early on. They have to know who’s the alpha in the family,” she said. Like Labs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can be a great dog for the right family and are known for their loyalty. Asked to compare the two breeds, Waid puts it this way: “You walk in the door with a Lab and you’re probably going to get licked to death. You walk in the door with a Chessie, and you’re going to experience a very protective dog.” As their name implies, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers were bred in Maryland as a perfect match for the harshest conditions found in any of the state’s waterways. Chessies are known for their distinctive oily coat, perfect for keeping out cold water as they swim out to reach a duck or other waterfowl. According to Waid, that oily fur means a Chessie can work twice as long as a Labrador Retriever whose coat isn’t quite as waterproof.


There’s another retriever that’s sometimes left off the list of top waterfowl hunters – the Golden Retriever. With their beautiful fur and sweet nature, most Goldens are bred for the show ring or to be the family pet, but Christian Ricker of Bold Bay Retrievers says if the dogs are bred for the hunt, then they make excellent duck dogs. “They are very fast, and they love the water,” Ricker said. Since they are eager to please, Golden Retrievers are highly trainable and their high energy levels mean they can chase down ducks for hours on end. The key with Golden Retrievers is S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


to acquire a dog that is “field bred,” from a hunting bloodline. These retrievers are more athletic and compact with shorter fur that is denser than a Golden bred for the show ring. The show-bred lines tend to have longer coats that don’t protect them from the cold as well and these dogs show little interest in retrieving a downed bird.

BLOODLINES The breeders all pointed to the importance of bloodlines in these hunting dogs. Two dogs may look identical but have completely different abilities and interests based on whether they were bred as show dogs, focusing on obedience and beauty, or as a working dog, with that built-in love of the hunt. “If you’re interested in a puppy, the first thing that I would do is look at the pedigree – mother, father, several generations,” Ricker advised, noting titles earned at hunting competitions can be a good indicator. “What that pedigree gives the waterfowl hunter is it shows that the dog is trainable.” 38

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As naturally gifted as all of these canines are at hunting, the breeders all agreed that training from a young age is key to turning a good hunting dog into a great one. “You can’t take a dog out of a kennel and raise it until it’s a year and a half old with zero training and then take them hunting,” Posoli said. Step one is getting a puppy used to loud noises, so they aren’t startled by the sound of a gun. “When they are newborn puppies, we blow duck calls, we clap our hands, we make all of these loud noises from the start, so it doesn’t bother them,” Ricker said of his Labs. “They are just hearing the loud bangs all the time, and it becomes a gradual thing that doesn’t affect them at all.” Waid does the same with her Chessies. “As soon as their ears start opening at three to five weeks, I play guns on a CD in the background.” Then there’s the tricky job of getting the dog to retrieve the bird instead of eating it. “The first thing you do is to teach them to hold,”


You’ve got to keep in mind these dogs are conservation tools. Our dogs are going to find nearly every bird that is hunted or shot. These dogs are incredibly talented to mark a downed bird, and they have incredible noses


Hindman said. “They’ve got to be under control. We teach them to hold a training dummy, a frozen bird, a dead bird, most anything. They have to hold it until you give them the command. That’s where you correct any mouth issues or chomping.” Retrievers are also natural swimmers but it helps to start them off early in the water so there is no hesitation when their hunter gives the signal to leap into a lake or river. Ricker plunges in with his puppies from an early age. “As long as the weather is warm and nice, I put on my bathing suit and let the pup straddle my forearm as they figure out how to paddle.” One final word of advice from the breeders: at the end of the day these working dogs will also be your pet so pick a breed that you can happily hunt with but also live with. For Hindman, they’re more than pets. “They’re like family.” S

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Connie Loveland


Christie Bishop


Alicia Gannon Dulin


Kim Crouch Ozman



IN-TOWN OXFORD WATERFRONT Spectacular Town Creek home on a double lot with deep water pier, waterside screened porch, and balcony. Top-of-the-line gourmet kitchen, updated bathrooms, two fireplaces and large owner's suite with WIC and luxurious bathroom. $1,999,000

EASTON COLONIAL Beautifully maintained 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home minutes to downtown Easton offering a tiered deck, formal living and dining rooms, family room with wood floors, and open kitchen with island. Partially finished basement. $430,000

EASTON ONE-STORY This open concept South Beechwood home was renovated in 2015 with new roof, new flooring, new kitchen, and bathrooms. Wonderful sunroom, fenced side yard and attached one car garage. Close to shopping and grocery stores. $349,900

EASTON Practically New! 3BR/2BA. Enjoy one level living with the option to finish the full basement w/roughedin plumbing. The seller purchased many upgrades. $399,000

11550 PLUGGE ROAD CORDOVA, MD 21625 This property offers four parcels with a combined total acreage of 307 acres+/-. With 4BRs and 3BAs, this home provides a large great room with boxed ceilings and brick fireplace, 3 car garage, and new roof and HVAC. Five outbuildings for plenty of storage. $3,500,000

Under Contract

ST. MICHAELS You will enjoy spectacular views of Spencer Creek from this two-story townhome. One of only eight units in a small condominium of Rio Vista. Featuring 2BR with option for a third, 2 full baths, wood & tile floors, updated bathrooms, and one car garage. $465,000

0 ST. MICHAELS RD. NEWCOMB, MD 21653 20 acres on St Michaels Rd overlooking Newcomb Creek and out to the Miles River. Seller has cleaned up the shoreline to offer breathtaking views of the water. Beautiful sandy beaches and high elevation. Great for goose and duck hunting. $1,520,000

SOLD 28007 JARBOE DR. EASTON, MD 21601 4 perc approved acres conveniently located between Easton and Saint Michaels. A great location to build your new home. $300,000 EASTON Location, Location!!! This Waverly Island waterfront home is less than two miles from Easton, has primary bedroom and bath on the first floor, LR with gas fireplace, waterside enclosed porch and more. $1,600,000


9600 MARTINGHAM CIR. ST MICHAELS, MD 21663 Situated on a 1.5+/- acre lot overlooking the Links at Perry Cabin golf course just outside of historic St. Michaels is this attractive Cape Cod packed full of amenities. $719,900

29011 DELAHAY DRIVE TRAPPE Stunning Cape Cod Custom built features a wrap around Mahogany porch & sited on 2.23 private parklike acres. 3-br, 2.5 bath features Georgia heart of pine HW floors, wood FP, vaulted ceilings, gourmet Kitchen. Finished 2-car garage w/bonus rm & 1/2-bath. $749,000

26321 ROYAL OAK RD EASTON Custom built 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath Cape Cod boasts heart of pine HW floors, 9' ceilings, 2nd floor office/ loft, upgraded kitchen w/granite countertops & stainless steel appliances. Located minutes to several boat landings. $499,000

4428 ROLLING ACRES DR HURLOCK Stunning Colonial sited on 1.04 acres has everything you're looking for! 4-br, 2.5-ba, 2-car attached garage, 28'x42' det. garage w/ a 12'x26' lean-to, 18'x36' pool w/diving board, hot tub & much more! $449,000

24 N. Washington St • Easton, MD • 410-770-9255 • 220 N.Morris St • Oxford, MD • 410-226-0111


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Custom Handcrafted Waterfowl, Gamebirds, Shorebirds & More

Eddie Wozny email : 410-228-6064

Follow me on Instagram @eddiewoznycarvings

Native Switchgrass Duck Blind Goose Pit Material

by the Bundle or the Truckload


Conservation & Wildlife Services Chestertown


“No job too BIG or too SMALL” -Danny Truitt

Danny’s Centreville Garage LLC Walk Ins Welcome 205 N Commerce Street Centerville, MD 21617

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ANGLING FOR A NEW F I S H I N G R O D O R TA C K L E ? S H O R E TA C K L E A N D C U S T O M R O D S I S A F I S H E R M A N ’ S PA R A D I S E Story and photos by Amelia Blades Steward

Pictured is Bill O’Brien, owner of Shore Tackle and Custom Rods in Grasonville.

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f you are a fisherman, the expression, “You need a rod for every type of fish” is music to your ears. Bill O’Brien, owner of Shore Tackle and Custom Rods in Grasonville, offers today’s anglers custom-built fishing rods and tackle specific to the Chesapeake Bay region and beyond. O’Brien, a lifetime angler, has fished throughout the United States and abroad. He has been building custom rods for over 20 years through his business OB Custom Rods. He learned the craft from numerous experienced rod builders and from courses and workshops sponsored by the Custom Rod Builders Guild, of which he has been an associate member since 2001. He continues to mentor new rod makers today through the Guild. “I love the outdoors and fishing has been at the center of it all since I was about five years old,” he said. “My father taught me how to fish and I’ve been able to pass that on to my daughters.” O’Brien, who was an electrician by trade, always enjoyed working with his hands. In 1999, while recuperating from an injury, learned how to build fishing rods from a friend who was a rod builder. Shore Tackle and Custom Rods offers custombuilt fishing rods for trolling, surf, spinning, bait casting, tuna, bottom and chumming, jigging, and fly fishing, as well as three and four-piece travel rods. Among his series of fishing rods are the “Chesapeake Series” — a variety of rods designed for fishing the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; the “OBX Series” — a selection of rods designed for surf and wade fishing for redfish, trout, and rockfish; the Blue Water Series – a series of offshore trolling rods; the “Bass Series” — technique specific rods designed for the tournament bass fisherman; and the “Joe Cap” Series for fly fishing. Types of Blue Water Series rods include stand-up, deep drop planer, trolling and teaser rods. Rod options can be customized by changing the color, lengths, butts, and other hardware and wrapping specifications to include the angler’s name or boat name. One of his most popular wraps is the Maryland wrap featuring the Maryland flag. The rods have a wide range of prices. “Our clients range from both ends of the spectrum — the hobbyist and then the guy that’s got the big boat in which case sometimes the fishing gear is the cheapest thing on his boat. To fill a gas tank with fuel on some of these bigger boats can be as much as $12,000. It’s crazy,” O’Brien said. Shore Tackle and Custom Rods also focuses on techniquespecific tackle to the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding areas.


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“Our rods are handcrafted to your needs, stress loaded and balanced for optimal performance, built with high-performance top-quality components, and individually test cast. Most of my product today is for saltwater fishing for stripers, Mahi, and tuna. I also build rods for the White Marlin Open teams. This year, that included teams from Puerto Rico and Guatemala.” Shore Tackle and Custom Rods also focuses on technique-specific tackle to the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding areas. Tackle is designed and rigged based on input from local fishermen and charter boat captains who are on the water every day catching fish. “We will carry the size, style and colors of the most productive tackle based on the season. Whether you are fishing the Susquehanna flats in Pictured front row, left to right, are Ashley O’Brien and Bill O’Brien with friends in Wanchese, North Carolina after a day of fishing.

OB Custom Rods can be customized by changing the color, lengths, butts, and other hardware and wrapping specifications to include the angler’s name or boat name. The most popular wrap is the Maryland wrap featuring the Maryland flag.


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the spring for the big stripers, bottom fishing and jigging an oyster bar, or trolling your special spot on the Bay, we have the tackle you need,” O’Brien added. In addition, the shop carries baits for tournament bass fishermen and saltwater and custom-tied flies. A selection of reels by such makers as Penn, Shimano, Okuma, Seigler, and Avet is matched to the rods available through the shop. Services include rod and reel repair and line spooling. “I enjoy making rods for the younger kids. Grandparents will purchase a gift certificate for their birthday or Christmas and then they can come in and pick out their rod out and finish. It’s a nice gift idea and that way they have skin in the game,” said O’Brien. Shore Tackle and Custom Rods is located at 3100 Main Street in Grasonville. For further information, contact them at 410-827-7765 or visit S


443-256-3773 / 410-643-3404 116 S Piney Road, Ste. 204 E, Chester, MD 21619 1125 West Street, Ste. 216 Annapolis, MD 21401

Blu Youre Skies A h N Realtew Homead In y Nav e wit igato h r!

CALL REALTY NAVIGATOR AT 410-643-3404 TODAY Our trusted and experienced agents are standing by!


707 Old Love Point Rd, Stevensville, MD 21666 - Renovated ranch-style Home on 15,000 square feet of land in the water-oriented community of Cloverfields on the Chester River. Four spacious bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, replacement windows, new roof, new HVAC, newly renovated kitchen, stainless steel appliances, newly renovated bathrooms, new washer and dryer, newer water heater, . There is a 7 x7 Utility room with an outside entrance. It houses an extra freezer (excluded from the inspection). Hardwood floors throughout the house, except kitchen and bathrooms. The Cloverfields community features a boat ramp, some slips (first come first serve), beach, playground, pool and clubhouse, horseshoe pits, etc. Close to schools, parks, Kent Island Cross Island Trail, restaurants shopping, 5 minutes from Rt. 50 West or East makes for an easy commute. Bring your offers! List Price: $424,900

SOLD by Lisa Longest 100 Barren Ridge Ct, Chester, MD 21619 - You will love this private 3 bedroom and 2 bath property situated on over a half acre lot. Spacious open floor plan with an expansive upgraded kitchen with Corian countertops, subway tiles and glass backsplash. Formal Dining room with Transom window to provide sun drenched appeal. Additional dining area with Bay Window overlooking Cox Creek as well as sliding glass door to back screen porch. The family room is complete with propane fireplace to provide cozy nights when its cold outside. The quaint friendly neighborhood provides local landing, loads of sunsets, and is conveniently located close to RT 50, the Bay Bridge, schools, shopping and restaurants of all kinds. Another plus- no HOA’s. List Price: $465,000

SOLD by Vince Payne 114 Wye Knot Ct, Queenstown, MD 21658 - You are going to love this 4 bedroom Colonial located on a quiet cul de sac. Traditional floor plan provides family room with gas fireplace, separate dining room (could be optional space you need). Well appointed kitchen with granite has room for a table and is open to the extended family room. All 4 bedrooms are located upstairs including the spacious owners bedroom with walk in closet and full bath with walk-in shower plus soaking tub. Landscaped for privacy. the backyard supplies perfect spaces for entertaining or just relaxing. Good sized deck off family room leads to in-ground pool. Fenced back yard with new gate allows easy access to “the rest of the back yard”. And don’t forget the Gazebo would be perfect spot to eat crabs or entertain. Owner had roof replaced last year. Fresh paint and some new carpet and flooring make this home Move in ready! Conveniently located for easy commuting. List Price: $467,500


15506 Old Marshall Hall Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607 - Quaint renovated and fully furnished hunting cabin located on it’s own pristine 59.65 +/- wooded acres within the Piscataway Park System! This is a rare opportunity to be conveniently located, for work or play, to the Washington DC / Virginia Metro Corridor, have the privacy of your own “park-like setting and outdoor activities” and have easy access to the use of and amenities of the Piscataway Park System! Recent updates to the cabin include: New double hung windows and Hardie Plank siding, all new insulation, new 3 ton HVAC Unit, new artesian well, all stainless steel appliances, granite counter top, ceramic coated steel double kitchen sink with butcher block surrounding counter top, exposed beam cathedral ceiling and pine wall board with open concept living space! $649,900

SOLD by Julia Stevens

SOLD by Petra Quinn

About 2644 Cecil Dr, Chester, MD 21619, HIGHEST AND BEST DUE 8PM 7/18 - Harborview Home with so many upgrades-- new HVAC 2020, new water conditioner 2020, new deck 2022, new stove, new washer, new back door, updated roof...completely turn key and move in ready! Long driveway with double gates into the backyard -fully fenced large yard; sturdy dog kennel can convey or be removed. There is more room than you would expect in this well loved well cared for home! The largest bedroom with ensuite is located on the opposite side of the house from the other two bedrooms and second full bathroom. The eat in kitchen has updated white cabinets- the movable island the perfectly fitted kitchen table can convey. Completely ready for you to move right in! Convenient location close to Bay Bridge and just minutes away from the Cross Island Trail-- Harborview community pavilion and playground are an added bonus in this sought after neighborhood. OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 7/17 1PM-3PM List Price: $324,000

220 Dutcher Rd, Queenstown, MD 21658 - Boaters Paradise! Sail or Power - enjoy the Wye River and all the Eastern Shore has to offer. Walls of glass on entire water side with full waterviews. 100’ by 6’ deep water dock with all stainless steel fasteners and a 10,000# boat lift. Dock includes a 22’ by 14’ over water deck and 34’ by 4’ finger pier. 24 by 40 free-form saltwater pool completely with pavered pool deck and retaining wall. Owner suite renovated to include large bathroom done in all marble. Solid cherry floors, large owners closet with custom shelving and high end whirlpool tub. Two propane fireplaces and kitchen with granite counters and solid cherry cabinets. New septic system (BAT) replaced in 2020. Encapsulated crawlspace. Beautiful IPE deck. In -law suite added with travertine floors, granite counters and solid cherry cabinets. Beautiful views of the Wye River from almost every room in the house. All this and more just minutes to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Close to Washington DC, Virginia, Delaware and PA. Close to airports. List Price: $1,449,000

SOLD by Petra Quinn

SOLD by Petra Quinn

Enjoy island living in this updated split foyer in sought-after Kentmorr, wonderfully located a short bike ride away from the private community beach, marina, and Kentmorr restaurant; quick access to the Kent Island South Trail for walking, jogging, or biking between Matapeake State Park and the Romancoke Fishing and Crabbing Pier.

218 Cross Creek Ct, Chester, MD 21619 - Large rebuilt home with 3-4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. New everything, windows, doors, siding, kitchen bathrooms, floors, paint. etc. Better than new because there was no wait. Easy drive to shopping, restaurants, Rt 50, the waterfront etc. List Price: $598,000

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By: Ryan Helfenbein

Not long ago, a neighbor stopped me to ask if I heard about Queen Elizabeth II. He went on to tell me that on September 9, 2022, Queen Elizabeth passed away. I was shocked, as she was known to have been carrying out her royal duties just a few days earlier. He went on to tell me that the Queen had noted prior to passing that she wanted nothing at all, not a ceremony, gathering or service… nothing. She felt that it would be a burden on her family and community of subjects, world leaders and interested citizens from all over the world to do such a thing in memory of her. No need for 142 members of the Royal Navy to take time from their busy day or eight pallbearers to bear the weight of the custom lead lined casket. She wanted things to be simple and easy on everyone, and therefore disappearing when her time came was the obvious answer. What if this was the way history was written? What would the 11.5 million of us have watched on that remarkable Monday if this was the case? It would be unthinkable not to acknowledge the passing of a monarch. Those of us who’ve never traveled across the pond, lived under a monarch, or particularly cared one way or another about the royal goings-on were glued to our screens to watch the remarkable ceremony. This was an event steeped in centuries of tradition. Religious and civil rituals were and continue to be celebrated to help her nation make this transition from life to death. Why do all of this? The answer is simple. Regardless of who the individual is, man has recognized for centuries that it’s important to remember the life of the departed, provide a time for their community to participate in a ceremony of remembrance and ultimately gain strength from each other through the shared memories of the one they love. The old saying “it takes a village”, can also apply to coping with the loss of a family member, friend or even a community acquaintance. This experience provided the Queen’s “community” a chance to gather and say goodbye. Her family was able to


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witness the outpouring of emotion from those around the world as books of condolences were signed, and flowers and gifts were left at the Buckingham Palace gates. People from around the globe stood in line for hours and hours to have a chance to view the flag draped casket. Millions witnessed her funeral from all over the globe and so many visited the Royal Undertaker’s funeral home website that it crashed due to the magnitude of visitors at one time. While most of us do not have a community of world leaders and royal family members, we, too, should consider that those important to us should have a chance to gather and grieve. Family members, friends, neighbors and those who may have lent a hand or been given a kind word of advice along the way will need this time together to reflect on our lives lived. While the Queen’s final farewell was very much dictated by tradition, she also included elements of personalization through planning ahead. Her favorite horse was waiting along the route from the public ceremony to the private farewell with one of her favorite head scarves on its saddle. The bagpiper that played for her pleasure while she was alive offered his talent to honor her passing. Her casket had been custom designed since the 1980’s and the family-owned funeral home was even selected well in advance. Yes, even the Queen understood the importance of not only a proper final farewell, but the advantage of planning ahead and adding touches of personalization. This foresight allowed her family to experience the support her community and not the burden of making once in a lifetime decisions during a time of grief. Yes, most of us are not monarchs, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t leave an impact on our own community. Asking those around us to take a moment to reflect on our life should never be viewed as a burden, but rather a caring gift of support. Over 11 million of us took the time out of our day to witness the funeral of someone whom we’ve never met. Why not give the same opportunity to the people who know and love us?

Cornelia C. Heckenbach Associate Broker

Premier Service Excellence and Results

Call Today 410-310-1229

SOLD - $3,000,000

SOLD - $2,095,000

109 S Talbot St. • St. Michaels, MD 21663

410-745-0283 Ext. 104

Dragonfly Boutique 21 Goldsborough Street Easton, MD | 410.763.9262 Follow us on Facebook @dragonflyboutiquemd FFFFFFFF S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


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Neat I’ L L H AV E M I N E

The American Tradition of Bourbon By Katie Begley


all is the perfect time to enjoy traditions or start some new ones. Bourbon, whether poured neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, is as American as a drink gets. Fortunately, we have both expertise and selection on the Eastern Shore. Rob Connell, co-owner of Pip’s Liquor Company in Chestertown says that bourbon makes up almost 20% of his inventory with plans to expand in the near future.

“It’s a big part of our business,” he says. “We carry a lot of the big names and well-known brands. But nowadays, people are looking for craft bourbons, too.” Pip’s has been in business for over 10 years in their current location and the new storefront in the Washington Square shopping center will provide around 20% more space, much of which will be stocked with top names and lesser-known craft varieties of bourbon.


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American brewed

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, made from corn and aged in charred oak barrels. To be officially labeled as bourbon, the liquor has to be made in the United States from at least 51% corn. It is aged in oak barrels for anywhere from two years to 20 or more years. “Aging generally smooths the bourbon out,” says Connell. “It takes more of the taste of the barrel, whether that’s the charred oak, vanilla hints, or general oakiness. The longer it ages, the more it tends to smooth out.” The most famous bourbons come from Kentucky, giving way to the famous “Bourbon trail,” a group of 41 distilleries that offer tours, sales, and of course, tastings. Big-name brands like Buffalo Trace, Jim beam, Four Roses, and Maker’s Mark all hail from this area. Craft bourbons are made in smaller batches, offering unique flavor profiles. 1792 is made in Bardstown, Kentucky and Connell says that it is one of the most popular craft labels that he carries. “We probably have between 45 to 100 of the craft bourbons out there,” said Connell.

In-demand liquors

Some of the most exclusive bourbons are allocated just once per year. Typically, these come out in November, with just a few bottles sent to designated distributors. People put their name on lists well in advance, knowing that their favorites are likely to sell out quickly. “They’re in very, very high demand,” said Connell. “Those are the ones that people are looking for and they know that they come out and put their name on a list, requesting a bottle. They can run from $200 to $2,000.” The legendary Pappy Van Winkle from the Buffalo Trace distillery comes out once per year in limited quantities. Other allocated bourbons include Weller and Elmer T. Lee.


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“Those are the ones that people are looking for...

...They can run from $200 to $2,000.”

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Maryland bourbons You don’t need to travel far to get a taste of bourbon. “Sagamore out of Baltimore is a big one right now,” said Connell. This rye-based whisky has a more bitter taste than sweet bourbons, with notes of cinnamon, clove, caramel, and honey. If you’re looking for a fall cocktail, it’s a good choice. Craft varieties like 1792, Belle Meade, and Jefferson’s are popular for their distinctive taste and story. Some are family-run distilleries while others have unique aging processes. Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon is aged in oak barrels at sea, where they are rocked

among the waves onboard a ship, resulting in their own flavor profile. No matter what bourbon you like, you can drink it straight, on the rocks, or in a cocktail. Fall is the perfect time to take advantage of sweet bourbons, perfect with the flavors of autumn. “Most people drink bourbon on the rocks with just a cube of ice or a dash or two of water,” said Connell. “But old fashioneds are making a comeback.” These cocktails are simple to make and traditionally made by muddling together sugar with bitters and water, then topping with bourbon. While delicious on their own, you can also bring in the flavors of fall for something special this season. S

M A P L E O L D FA S H I O N E D Try a Maple Old Fashioned to bring a taste of fall to your bourbon cocktail: Mix 2 ounces of bourbon with 1 tsp of maple syrup and 4 dashes of bitters. Serve over ice and garnish with a 1-inch strip of orange peel.


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Delegate for Maryland’s 37B

I will work to attract business to the MidShore I will work to stop the health care brain drain. I will work to ensure that our traditional ways of life are supported I will represent you! Paid for by Delean-Bodkin 37B Amy Causey Treasurer


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$5,800,000 17 BEDS 16.5 BATHS 18,440 SQ FT 18.31 ACRES Can your investments pay these dividends? Sassafras River Compound uniquely centered in between New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. Less than one hour from Philadelphia International Airport. 17 bedrooms 16.5 baths, 1900’s renovated Manor house with spectacular down river views and summer sunsets. Find your favorite resting spot on the dock, the Manor house, the Cottage, Pool house, Guest house or in the Barn tavern. Perfect location for plenty of water sports, Water skiing, Wakeboarding, Sailing, Paddle boarding and fishing. Just minutes by boat to Georgetown Harbor, with 5 restaurants. Must see to appreciate, but make sure you block out enough time to see all this Upper Eastern Shore gem has to offer.

John Burke ASSOCIATE BROKER O: 410.275.2118 C: 443.206.3727 58

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116 N Bohemia Ave, Cecilton, MD 21913

Cronshaw carpentrY We specialize in Remodeling!

Scott Cronshaw

8304 GANNON CIRCLE, EASTON 410.822.0981 office 410.310.4168 cell MHIC #76923 S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M



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The Trippe Gallery

~Photographs~ ~Paintings~ ~Sculpture~ 23 N Harrison Street ~ Easton 410-310-8727

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Story by Debra R. Messick | Photos by Audrey Wozny

Trevor Michaels of Shore European Mounts offers more than your typical local wild game


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he Eastern Shore has a long legacy of hunting as both a traditional lifestyle and a passionate pastime. It’s not surprising, then, that the art and science of taxidermy, or preserving parts of an animal for a respectful, decorative display, is also a time honored practice here. While many think of what’s known as shoulder mounts, including a prestigious, lifelike rendering of a full neck and head view for permanent wall placement, another more affordable option is becoming popular, requiring less time to prepare, while offering more flexible and space saving display options, and a longer lifespan. Called the European Mount, it’s also known by some hunters, especially those from the Western U.S., as a Western Mount, featuring a pristinely clean animal skull decoratively mounted. One local man has followed in that pursuit. Woolford wildlife biologist Trevor Michaels’ adventures in hunting began as a youngster in Montgomery County. Though far from alone in that pursuit, he blazed his own trail by teaching himself how to clean and mount his own trophy heads. Michaels was 13 when he first decided to try his hand at preparing a deer skull, learning through trial and error over time. As his skills developed, he began getting interest and requests from friends.

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Michaels moved to the Shore in 2009, where he continued prepping skull mounts in his spare time. In 2017 he launched a side business dedicated to helping other hunters preserve and display their hard won skulls and skins, operating Shore European Mounts out of his home garage and shed in Woolford, just south of Cambridge. While mainly working with Sika and Whitetail deer, Michaels has applied his fastidious skills to foxes, raccoons, coyotes, skunks and otters. But Michaels has also worked his magic on a coterie of decidedly nonlocal critters, too – Alaskan grizzly bears, lynx, bobcats, longhorn antelopes, aoudad goats (sometimes called barbary sheep), and even alligator. Familiar or not, Michaels gamely gets himself up to speed on the finer points of what prepping each animal requires. Unlike deer, elk and moose, which shed their antlers each year, sheep or goats have perpetual horns they retain. The horns are filled with


All of the teeth need to come out, then glued back in.



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Alaskan grizzly bears, lynx, bobcats, longhorn antelopes, aoudad goats

fat, which must be thoroughly cleaned out, Michaels explained. Alligators present another type of painstaking project. “All of the teeth need to come out, then glued back in. Plus, the skull is very porous, so needs to be cleaned really well,” he added. Michaels’ preferred method of cleanly and thoroughly removing all trace of flesh and tissue is through the use of flesh eating, skeletonizing Dermestid beetles, which can take anywhere from overnight up to a week. The next step is to completely degrease the skull, removing any fat trapped in the bone marrow, by soaking it in soap and hot water. Though now pristinely cleansed, to achieve the striking white color preferred for mounting, Michaels bleaches it using a salon grade peroxide, similar to those used in hair salons, which is gentler to the fragile bone. He also offers innovative snow camo and wetland camo dip accents, featuring designs developed with hydrographic film. S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


While skull mounts are the centerpiece of his business, Michaels also offers full hide tanning services deer, fox, otter, bear, and more, and creates specialized turkey fan/ beard/spur mounts and plaques. In 2018, the talents of the self taught Shore taxidermist came to the attention of the


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Netflix series MeatEater host Steve Rinella. Michaels spent a week with the show’s crew, and crafted European Mounts for Rinella and Ryan Callaghan. For more information, visit the Shore European Mounts Facebook page and S

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The Heart of Dorchester Antiques Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm •

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Saturday, November 12th 10am to 4pm Fun for the Whole Family!

FREE indoor/outdoor event OVFC serving lunch at OCC

Regional Model Boat Builders Exhibit & Sales Oyster Raw Bar & Craft Beers and Spirits Kids Mini-Wooden Boat Races

OXFORDCC.ORG Oxford Community Center


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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9 Marketplace Noon - 3:00 pm Granite Lodge, odge St. Mary’s Square

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 Holiday Breakfast 7:30 - 10:00 am St. Luke’s Church, 304 South Talbot Street

Breakfast with Santa 8:00 - 10:00 am Foxy’s Harbor Grille, 125 Mulberry Street Ages 4-9, $10 per child Reservations Required

Marketplace 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Granite Lodge, St. Mary’s Square

Christmas Bazaar 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Christ Church Parish Hall Willow Street

Talbot Street Parade

One Mile a Dash 10:30 am Talbot Street S anta

Eastern Shore Dinner 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Union United Methodist Church Parish Hall, 100 Fremont Street and Railroad Avenue $25 per person

Tour of Homes Tickets Required 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Advance: $25 Event Weekend: $30

Lighted Boat Parade 6:00 pm St. Michaels Harbor Weather permitting – decision made on the day of the parade

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 Marketplace 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Granite Lodge, St. Mary’s Square

Tour of Homes Tickets Required 11:00 am - 4:00 pm Advance: $25 Event Weekend: $30

The Newest Boutique in Historic Downtown Easton. Featuring denim, leather, jewelry, gifts, and clothing for sassy women and the people who love them.

Musical Offering 4:30 pm Christ Church, 301 S. Talbot Street

For more details and to purchase tickets and ornaments, visit: or call 410-745-0745

33 N. Harrison Street, Easton, MD 10-6 Monday & Wed-Saturday 11-4 Sunday S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M




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Talbot Rod & Gun Club Combines Tradition and Service


By Amelia Blades Steward

f you don’t know what a “high house” and a “low house” are, you need to stop by Talbot Rod & Gun Club in Easton to learn the meaning of those terms regarding the tradition of shooting skeet. In addition to offering its members the opportunity to shoot skeet and trap, the club has taken on a new community focus embodying a true sportsman’s club where the spirit of friendship and family combine. Invented in Massachusetts in 1920, skeet shooting is a competitive recreational activity where participants use shotguns to break clay targets mechanically thrown in the air at a variety of angles from two-fixed stations — a high house and a low house. Named after the Norwegian word for “shoot,” skeet gained popularity during World War II when the U.S. military used it to teach gunners to lead flying targets. Talbot Rod & Gun Club was formed informally in 1934. Members would gather at farms throughout the county, setting up a single trap behind hay bales and shooting targets over a field. “There were a lot more hunters and fishermen in the area during that time. The name ‘rod and gun’ reflects the comradery the club was built upon,” said Tom Huges, who is a member, historian S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


Pictured is Emma White, a freshman at Easton High School shooting at Talbot Rod & Gun Club

Pictured left to right are Talbot Rod & Gun Club board members Joe Devens, Paul Bergere, Joe Capozzoli, Clement Hathaway, and Tony LeCompte.

and secretary of the club. “Members privately organized hunting and fishing parties during those seasons and during the warm weather, they shot skeet to improve their shooting skills.” In 1960, the club bought land on Chapel Road and the first organized skeet shoot was held in 1962. My grandfather, Everett Blades, was one of the early members of the club and is listed on one of the clubhouse plaques. Over the years, the club grew and received national awards, held shooting exhibitions, and hosted several popular shoots sanctioned by the National Skeet Shooting Association. The club has six skeet fields, two five-stand fields and a trap field. Club members today still travel throughout the United States competing and winning at the highest levels of competition. Hughes added that “several club members have gained ‘All American’ status for their skeet-shooting prowess.” The 250-member club also has a legacy of hosting charity fundraising events, supporting such recent causes as the Wounded Warrior Project, Critchlow Adkins Children’s Center and the Talbot County Sheriff’s Department Canine Division. Generations of Talbot County youth have been taught to shoot at the club through the Maryland hunter safety program and 4-H. Joe “Cap” Capozzoli, current president of the club, acknowledges that COVID had an impact on the game. With many of the club’s older members aging and sporting clays gaining more popularity, the club made a conscious decision to get more involved in the community to remain viable. “We have made a paradigm shift, slowly drawing 72

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Pictured left to right are Joe Capozzoli, Rennie Gay, and decoy carver Jim Pierce at the Critchlow Adkins Shoot at Talbot Rod & Gun Club.

the community into our activities,” Capozzoli said. “Our recent fundraiser to benefit Conor’s Project is a perfect example. One of our longtime members, Rennie Gay, hosts this charity event to raise funds in memory of his grandson who passed away.” “We started this event five years ago and raised $7,000 the first year for Critchlow Adkins Children’s Center,” said Gay. “This year, we raised $38,000. It’s a community event of people gathering for a good cause. We get people out here shooting, having a good time and doing a service to the community. It makes people feel connected.” “The funds the event raises go first and foremost toward our swim lessons for our children and then for enriching our summer programs,” said Cristy Morrell, executive director of Critchlow Adkins Children’s Center, which benefited from the Conor’s Project event. “It helps make our programming more well-rounded and it gives our children more opportunities and makes it fun.” For Capozzoli, however, the friendships extend beyond the property boundaries of the Talbot Rod & Gun Club, making its members more like family. S


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Discover Caroline County, MD! Among the pristine waterways and countryside you’ll find a region brimming with outdoor adventures! Caroline’s 8,000+ acres of wildlife sanctuaries, nature preserves and parks provide trails and waterways perfect for exploring year-round.




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Whether you’re looking to hike, paddle, pedal, camp, fish, hunt, or sport shoot, you belong here! We’re open for you, if you’re

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A Rgood eel time! WAYFARING

Mid-Shore Fishing Guide By Tracey F. Johns


he Chesapeake Bay region offers a great variety of fishing for small boat, large boat and shoreline anglers in its vast network of tidal and non-tidal saltwater, brackish and freshwater fishing spots. For those that don’t have a boat but love to be out on the water, charter fishing opportunities are abundant, with locally knowledgeable captains guiding you to some of the bay’s best fishing for rockfish, bluefish, Spanish mackerel and more. Striped bass, or rockfish as they are locally known, are the biggest draw for anglers to the region’s brackish and salt waters, with numerous tournaments found throughout the entire Chesapeake Bay region for competitive fishing. Tournaments not only offer great prizes for anglers but also raise

important funds for many of the area’s nonprofits including local hospice agencies and fire departments. A bonus for Maryland anglers is a unique Cast and Blast package offered by some charter fishing captains that combines hunting and fishing experiences. These guided, on-the-water hunting and fishing trips offer a day of duck hunting in the morning from a small skiff or sportfishing boat, and an afternoon of charter boat fishing for striped bass. For freshwater fishing, locally stocked ponds and freshwater rivers and streams provide a great place for fly fishing and light tackle for catching bass, trout, freshwater perch, crappie and more. The invasive snakehead is abundant in the waters of Blackwater National

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Photo by Amy Rosewater John Sovero Boat with crew

Photo by Ceremony Photography

Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County and has turned out to be a quite tasty catch, offering delicious white meat and an open season with no daily creel limits for anglers, including bowfishing. Plenty of public landings and fishing spots are available on shore for those wishing to fish the Bay’s brackish waters without a boat. Maryland DNR has a great website for locating fishing spots, found at PublicFishingAccess/.


Before you fish, be sure to secure any fishing licenses and registrations needed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Guests on charter fishing boats and individuals under the age of 16 are not required to obtain a license to go fishing recreationally, with more information at To learn more about fishing opportunities in your neck of the Chesapeake Bay, visit your county’s tourism website or go to www.fishandhuntmary S

Striped bass, or rockfish as they are locally known, are the biggest draw for anglers to the region’s brackish and salt waters

Local Fishing tournaments


JON FOX MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT Talbot Hospice, Doc’s Sunset Grille, Oxford, Md. events/jon-fox-memorialfishing-tournament.html



BIG AL’S GONE FISHING TOURNAMENT Oxford Volunteer Fire Department Doc’s Sunset Grille, Oxford, Md.

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CASEY CARES ANNUAL ROCKFISH TOURNAMENT Casey Cares Foundation, Stevensville, Md. events/annual-casey-caresrockfish-tournament

GUARDIAN OF THE PEARL ROCKFISH TOURNAMENT Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Department, Rock Hall, Md. rockfishtournament

Photo by Pics By Missy Houston Pirrurg with sister Charlee Photo by Amy Rosewater Bailey Lightner holding fish she caught with captain Mike Sadler

Photo by Pics By Missy John Sovero Boat

Photo by Amy Rosewater Baynes Family Photo by Amy Rosewater WCBM radio host Alan measuring fish

KENT NARROWS FLY & LIGHT TACKLE TOURNAMENT Coastal Conservation Association & Island Tackle Outfitters, Grasonville, Md. kent-narrows-fly-light-tackle/

AUGUST DELAWARE BASS FEDERATION TOURNAMENT Delaware Bass Federation, Choptank River Yacht Club, Cambridge, Md.

KENT ISLAND YOUTH FISHING DERBY Kent Island Fisherman, Romancoke Pier Stevensville, Md. kentislandfishermen

LITTLE BOBBERS FISHING DERBY Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center Grasonville, Md. about-fishing-derby/

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4190 Evergreen Road, Oxford, MD Welcome to Evergreen Farm, truly one of the most beautiful waterfront farms in Talbot County. Sited on 121 acres in Oxford, MD, this property has over 2000’ of shoreline (most rip-rapped) bordering the Choptank River and Island Creek, and a large tidal pond which offers incredible views and is an extraordinary habitat for wildlife. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets can be seen from this property, which is one of the few remaining large parcels offering complete privacy yet just minutes to Oxford. The meandering lane leads through the fields and up to the gorgeous point with panoramic vistas. The 6BR/5BA house was built in 1962, remodeled in the mid 1980’s, and boasts amazing water views from nearly every room. Adjacent is the large gunite pool and the protected pier is located in the cove and offers 3.5’MLW. $5,250,000 ©2022 TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, licensed real estate broker. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a licensed trademark to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. Each Office is Independently Owned And Operated. SIR1. Equal housing opportunity. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Price and availability subject to change.

The Good Life… Prospect Bay Life Prospect Bay Country Club is a premiere golf and social destination on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Located just 10 miles east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the Club has provided recreation and camaraderie for its members, their families and guests for more than 30 years. Members enjoy the 18 hole golf course, casual and fine dining in the Clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, and full social calendar year round. Golfing and Social Memberships are available.




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LegacyAlive TO K E E P A

By Debra R. Messick | Photos by Conrad Arnold


he Eastern Shore has long been renowned as an outdoor sports person’s paradise. Bountiful hunting and fishing is a treasured resource for locals and visitors alike. But despite being surrounded by and steeped amid such rich traditions, youngsters here, as elsewhere, are growing up more connected to the digital than the natural world. Realizing that outdoor skills and pursuits, once automatically handed down, are at risk of slipping away, dedicated parents and professionals have stepped up, teaching and promoting activities such as shooting, hunter safety, archery and fishing. Local 4-H chapters, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Coastal Conservation Association, are among those leading the way. With a 25 year career as University of Maryland Extension Service 4-H Youth Educator in Dorchester County, Conrad Arnold also served for S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


22 years as State 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator. After retiring in 2014, Arnold brought his experience and dedication to a new role as Program Coordinator for the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program, while also continuing as a volunteer. Throughout his long tenure, Arnold has devoted himself to furthering the 4-H mission of positive youth development along with the fundamentals of shooting sports, often leading the training sessions which instructors are required to attend. Focusing especially on what’s known as ‘first shot fundamentals’, instructors make sure that youngsters have their first hands-on shooting experience within the first 20 minutes or 30 minutes, initially standing close to targets to reinforce success. In late September, just before Maryland’s statewide 4-H Archery Championships, Arnold again headed up to the venerable Thendara Center near Hurlock, which he still does several evenings a month, just as he’s done for years. 15-year-old Ryan Clark, a 10th grader at North Dorchester High School, was getting in another round of practice with compound bow and arrows ahead of representing his home county in the statewide meet for the second time. After each round of shots, Ryan, with his father Tim and his instructor Philip McIntee, who himself placed 3rd in the 2006 national competition, made their way across the range to extract the bows, add up points, and share pointers (Tim, too, had been an archery shooter growing up.) In Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, some parents have been inspired by their own childrens’ interest to go the extra mile and become trained club leaders. For Russ Parson, that interest has become a rewarding ongoing mission. Parson had hunted as a youngster, but was more fond of fishing. Working with DNR, Parson manages the Unicorn Lake fish hatchery in Millington. When his son Brandon Mitzel got interested in the 4- H shooting program, Parson trained and started the shotgun club. That was 15 years ago; his son is now grown with his own business. But Parson stayed with it, and is now starting to see a second generation, kids of youngsters he taught coming through the program. “Everything about it is for the kids,” Parson added. And the kids have definitely been interested. In just the club’s second year, 72 kids had signed up, Parson recalled. Ongoing support over the years from the Kent County Gun Club and Sudlersville Skeet Club has provided facilities for practice, “Following COVID-19, numbers of participants are down,” Parsons said. “Another challenge has come 84

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from the rising cost of shells and other essential sport equipment.” Parson has joined other 4-H efforts, assisting the County’s dynamic and dedicated leader, Beth Hill, in teaching outdoor education. He’s also become a state hunter safety instructor. Admitting that he wished he had been involved with 4-H as a youngster himself, he now looks forward to hopefully paying the opportunities forward as his 2 and 5 year old granddaughters become old enough to participate in the 8 to 18 age range. Joining Parson in leading the Kent County “Triple Shots Club,” Archery instructor Andy Simmons also started as a result of his 8-year-old daughter’s strong interest. Already a bow hunter when she began, Simmons’ daughter recently aged out of the program after competing at the state level, yet he’s remained on board, believing in the benefits of helping kids learn safety, discipline, and focus. Remarking on the level of concentration and form required, Simmons noted the similarities to golf,

saying, “It looks easy when it’s done right.” Achieving a level of expertise his daughter referred to as ‘being in the zone,’ depends on mastering 4 or 5 ‘really key things’ including stance, crisp release, follow through, front and rear sight alignment and breathing. After the pandemic, the club has recouped 15 dedicated youngsters, who have also honed their fundraising skills, raffling off a cross bow and selling Christmas lights they crafted from shotgun shells, Simmons noted. The club set up its own practice range at the Kent County Fairgrounds, and Cypress Creek Archery in Millington has provided its range, as well. Penny Anderson, co-leader of the award winning Queen Anne’s County 4-H Rifle Marksmanship Club, is yet another parent turned trained coach as a result of her own youngsters’ interest. Recalling the excellence of the county’s 4-H program from her own childhood experience, Anderson set her sights on helping twins McKenna and Nash do the same. S P O R T I N G L I F E 2 0 2 2 | S H O R E M O N T H LY. C O M


As part of a passionate hunting family, with a dad owning Delmarva Sporting Craze and Rifle Range in Mardela, Anderson felt it worthwhile to help take her twins’ interest in shooting to the highest level as a volunteer coach. The efforts more than paid off, with both youngsters being awarded full college scholarships, McKenna eventually graduating from Jacksonville State University in Alabama and Nash from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. But even before reaching that level of performance, the regiment involved with learning to shoot helped McKenna much earlier on. When her second grade teacher noticed McKenna repeatedly drifting off in class, the doctor prescribed low dosage attention deficit medicine. Over the summer, the Andersons paused the medication regimen, and in 3rd grade, took a wait and see attitude before resuming it. Not noticing any problems without it, they asked McKenna how she was doing. Their daughter replied that paying attention was no longer an issue, explaining that since she’d started regular shooting practice, she’d learned practical steps to help stay focused, a skill which she’d been able to apply to solving math problems. While those involved with shooting sports recognize their value, leaders have felt the need to counter media and community concerns regarding youth firearms training. Arnold has taken a proactive stance, compiling a portfolio of statistics noting the safety and benefits of shooting programs. Through his DNR fishery work, Parson is familiar


with and impressed by the state’s efforts to encourage and support youth fishing. Leitha Grimes, in her 35th year with DNR, is still involved with furthering the accessibility of fishing to youngsters, seniors, and underserved communities. Largely working in Western Maryland, Grimes hopes people across the state will learn about DNR’s programs in place to help the next generation discover the sport’s simple joys while learning conservation basics. When entering the words ‘youth fishing’ in the search window at https://www.dnr., a - Russ Parson plethora of pages include ‘youth fishing,’ ‘my first fish,’ ‘youth anglers log’ and ‘rodeos’ pop up. The youth fishing page tells how youngsters ages 5-15 can join the online Youth Fishing Club for free and receive two stickers, and find out about kids’ fishing events in their area. On Nov. 12 and 13, Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland is partnering with Easton Elks 1622, to hold back to back Youth Fishing Derbies, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bay Street Ponds in Easton. Participating youngsters who don’t own fishing rods will go home with one for free, according to the website, https// For more information, visit the National 4-H Shooting Sports Facebook Page or S


about it is for the kids


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CRAVING AN INSPIRED HOLIDAY RETREAT? Welcome to Brampton Inn, a Romantic Maryland Bed and Breakfast You’ll Never Want to Leave Savor our gourmet breakfast before your day’s adventure. Surround yourself with unmatched charm & elegance. Rest & Relax in your luxury guest room or cottage and cuddle fireside. Our small inn is a stone’s throw away from the quaint town of Chestertown, Maryland, and Washington College.

Brampton Bed and breakfast Inn 25227 Chestertown Road Chestertown, MD 410-778-1860

Photo by Trish McGee Soroptimist International of Kent & Queen Anne’s Counties have been holding a Festival of Trees for nearly 40 years. In the foreground is the 2021 Kent Clover Calf 4-H Club tree celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Big or Small, One store has it all.

Serving Kent County and the Eastern Shore for over 50 years! Your Source For: Treated Lumber · Builder’s Hardware · Fir Plywood Framing Lumber - Shingles · Insulation - Windows Doors - Millwork · Ceiling Tile - Drywall Materials

Chestertown Lumber Company, LLC 410-810-9080 805 Washington Ave. Chestertown, MD Fax 410-810-9088 Current Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-4:30pm Saturday 8am-12noon • Closed Sunday

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Quilt a Cozy Holiday!

Bags & Accessories

The ONLY Quilt Shop in Kent & Queen Anne's Counties

Make Today Ridiculously Awesome!"

Long Arm Quilting Studio, retail quilting & embroidery supplies

First-Quality Fabrics Quilting Books & Patterns Notions, Thread, Gifts & More Friendly & Knowledgeable Service Village Quilting, LLC South Main Street 5701 Rock Hall, MD 21661


Open 7 Days a Week

21326 E Sharp Street | Rock Hall, MD 21661 410-639-7980 | Open 10AM-5PM 7 Days a Week


r Chesapeake Bay Getaway

Relax, Explore and Enjoy Life on the Eastern Shore SHOP ROCK HALL On Small Business Saturday November 26 2022 and All Through the Holidays Plus Dining, Lodging and More! Show your hometown spirit And support Rock Hall small businesses this season!

Mark Your Calendar!

December 3 - Santa's Arrival & Crab Basket Tree Lighting December 31 - New Year's Eve & RockFish Drop

Photo by Robert Buckheit

For more information visit us online at |


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Kent County Maryland

A sportsman's paradise...explore tributaries in search of waterfowl and more along the Chesapeake Bay. Phone: 410-778-0416



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Cover photo by Audrey Wozny Kaci Willey shows off the family land she grew up on, where she learned to love the outdoors and lifestyle that is so beloved on the Eastern Shore. Kaci and her family honor the legacy of their descendants by loving the land and continuing the tradition of embracing the outdoor life.


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(410)-829-2764 • 602 Dutchmans Lane, Easton, MD 21601 •

Visit our store: 4 North Washington Street Easton, Maryland 21601 410-562-3403

Fine Books Maps Historic Documents Historic Newspapers

See us at The Model Boat Show in Oxford, MD - Oxford Community Center -

Nov. 12th - 10 to 5pm

Browse our website:

Building an 86 Year Tradition

FRANK E. DAFFIN, INC. Building Contractors

W. Wilson Daffin, President William (Billy) Daffin, Vice President MHIC License No. 1857

410-822-2364 410-822-4871

Mystery Loves Company®

MHBR #877

202 S. Morris St. | Oxford | 410.226.0010

9815 Leeds Landing Road Easton, MD 21601

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WE REPAIR Maintenance On-Line Backup


Data Recovery W O



Broken Laptop Screen Virus Removal Computer Upgrades


Escape to the Eastern Shore Getaway! Guest activities include canoe, kayaks, paddle boards, shuffle board, horse shoes, bikes and a pool in season

Wedding dates & elopement packages available for 2023


25876 Royal Oak Rd, Royal Oak, Maryland 21662 100

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