Firearms Deer Season Opens November 26

Maryland’s most popular deer hunting season opens Saturday, Nov 26. Fifty-five percent of all deer taken by hunters occurs during the firearm deer season.
Deer Management Region A, which consists of Garrett and Allegany Counties, firearm bag limit is two deer- 1 antlered and 1 antlerless. Only antlered deer may be taken during Nov 26 – Dec 9. Antlered or antlerless deer may be taken on Dec 10. See chart accompanying this release.

Deer Management Region B, which includes Washington and all counties east, white-tailed deer firearm bag limit is 2 antlered deer and 10 antlerless deer during the season that opens on Nov 26 and runs through Dec 10. Two antlerless deer must be taken before a second antlered deer is pursued. See chart accompanying this release.

Sika deer firearm season is Nov 26 through Dec 10 in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The sika bag limit is 1 antlered and 1 antlerless sika deer. An antlered sika deer is a sika deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.

The first Sunday of firearm season (Nov 27) is open for deer hunting on private lands in Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington counties. Deer hunters took 1996 deer on Sunday last season, 9% of the two-week firearm harvest for these 12 counties.

The top ten counties for 2004-05 firearm deer harvest were as follows: Washington (6375); Frederick (4426); Carroll (2953); Worcester (2852); Allegany (2728); Montgomery (2485); Garrett (2462); Dorchester (2445); Baltimore (2385); Kent (2122).

Successful Maryland deer hunters register their deer by calling 1-888-800-0121 or through the internet Before moving the deer from place of kill, hunters must immediately attach a field tag on the deer’s head and record the harvest on their Maryland Big Game Harvest Record portion of their hunting license. Both forms must be completed in ink. Upon registering the deer, hunters will be given a confirmation number that is recorded on the Big Game Harvest Record. Detailed instructions for this registration process is located on pages 28 –29 of the “2005 – 2006 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland”.

Successful Junior deer hunters (age 16 and under) are eligible to receive a “Junior Hunter Game Certificate” from designated Junior Hunter Game Certification Agents. Just check page 55 of the “2005 – 2006 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland” for the local participating business. Visit the local agent and receive an attractive certificate commemorating the bagging of any deer.

Landscapes with deer hunting programs contain fewer deer and more diverse wildlife species than non-hunting areas. Deer browse on woodland plants, such as under story shrubs, wild flowers, vines and forbs. Therefore, forests with deer numbers more in balance with the habitat contain a greater diversity of plants. Plant diversity creates wildlife diversity. This diversely vegetated forest contributes to the health of the Chesapeake Bay by absorbing nutrients before they reach the Bay’s tributaries.

Deer hunters should inspect their permanent tree stands and portable tree stands before using them. Safety belts should be used while climbing into a tree stand, hunting from a tree stand and while climbing down. There were 12 deer hunting accidents in Maryland during the past hunting season and 9 (75%) involved accidents related to the tree stand.

Maryland’s Firearm Deer Hunting Season is one component of DNR’s deer management project. Firearms deer hunting combined with archery and muzzleloader deer seasons provides outdoor recreation for over 80,000 Marylanders, manages white-tailed deer and sika deer populations, and contributes over $150 million to the state’s economy.

Complete bag limits, season dates and other deer hunting information can be found at the DNR website The Hunting & Trapping In Maryland 2005-2006 guide, issued with each hunting license, contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.

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