Early Muzzleloader Deer Season Opens October 18

ANNAPOLIS (Oct. 9, 2007) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the first portion of Maryland’s Muzzleloader Deer Season opens October 18.

Region A’s Total Muzzleloader Season bag limit is 2 white-tailed deer - 1 antlered and 1 antlerless. Only one deer may be taken during the October Muzzleloader Season (October 18 – 20, 2007). One either-sex deer may be taken on private lands or one antlered deer may be taken on public lands.

Region B’s Total Muzzleloader Season bag limit is 2 antlered white-tailed deer and 10 white-tailed antlerless deer. Only one antlered deer may be taken during the October 18 – 20 Muzzleloader Season segment. Only antlerless deer may be taken with a muzzleloader from October 22 through October 27. Muzzleloader hunters may take up to 10 antlerless deer combined for the both October segments.

The sika deer muzzleloader season is open in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties from October 18 through 20. The sika deer bag limit is 1 sika deer, antlered or antlerless. An antlered sika deer is a deer with at least 1 antler visible above the hairline. Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties are closed for sika deer hunting during the October 22 – 27 Muzzleloader Season segment.

Successful Maryland deer hunters must register their deer by calling 1-888-800-0121 or online at www.gamecheck.dnr.state.md.us. Hunters must immediately attach a completed Field Tag on the deer’s head and record the harvest on their Maryland Big Game Harvest Record portion of their hunting license before moving the deer from place of harvest. Both forms must be completed in ink. Hunters will receive a confirmation number to be recorded on the Big Game Harvest Record. Detailed instructions for this process are located on pages 32 – 33 of the 2007-2008 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland.

Bow hunters are reminded that archery deer season is closed during the October 18 – 20 Muzzleloader Season segment. Bow hunters may hunt with a bow on these days, but any deer taken with a bow must be checked against their muzzleloader bag limit. Bow hunters must possess a muzzleloader stamp if they choose to hunt with a bow on October 18 – 20.

Bow season remains open during the Region B antlerless only muzzleloader hunting segment (October 22 – 27). Bow hunters must check any deer taken during these dates against the bow bag limit. This regulation allows bow hunters to take either sex deer during the antlerless only muzzleloader season while muzzleloader hunters are limited to antlerless deer.

The 2006-2007 top ten Maryland counties for total October muzzleloader deer harvest were: Washington County (1361); Frederick County (1020); Dorchester County (777); Baltimore County (683); Garrett County (679); Worcester County (655); Carroll County (644); Harford County (602); Allegany County (583); Charles County (561).

Maryland’s Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Season is one component of DNR’s deer management project. Muzzleloader deer hunting, combined with archery and firearm deer hunting, manages white-tailed deer and sika deer populations, provides outdoor recreation for 74,000 Maryland citizens and contributes more than $150 million to the state’s economy.

Complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and other deer hunting information can be found online at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/. The Hunting & Trapping In Maryland 2007-2008 Guide, issued with each hunting license, contains detailed information about all Maryland’s hunting seasons.

Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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