ANNAPOLIS (Nov. 17, 2008) Marylands traditional two week deer firearm season opens Saturday, Nov. 29. It is the most popular deer hunting season, with nearly half of the annual harvest taken during this period. Total harvest over the two weeks is expected to be between 40,000 and 45,000 deer and is a crucial aspect of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources efforts to manage the white-tailed deer population in our state.
Deer hunting continues to be the most effective tool to regulate deer numbers in Maryland, said DNRs Deer Project Leader Brian Eyler. Balancing the deer herd with its environment and the needs of our citizens is an agency priority. A well managed deer herd is an important component in achieving healthy watersheds by protecting vital plant communities.
The total firearm season bag limit in Deer Management Region A (Allegany and Garrett Counties) is two deer; one antlered and one antlerless.
-- On DNR managed public lands in Region A, firearm season is open for antlered deer only from Nov. 29 through Dec. 12 and antlered or antlerless deer on Dec. 13. However, no more than two antlerless deer may be taken in Region A on DNR managed public lands with any combination of the bow, muzzleloader and firearm bag limits, excluding Junior Deer Hunt Day.
-- On all other lands in Region A, firearm season is open for antlered deer only from Nov. 29 through Dec. 11 and antlered or antlerless on Dec. 12 and 13.
The total firearm bag limit in Deer Management Region B (all counties except Allegany and Garrett) is two antlered deer and ten antlerless deer during the season that opens on Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 13. Hunters in Region B must take two antlerless deer and purchase a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp before pursuing a second antlered deer.
Sika deer firearm season runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 13 in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties. The sika bag limit is one antlered and one antlerless sika deer. An antlered sika deer is defined as having at least one antler visible above the hairline.
The first Sunday of firearm season, Nov. 30 is open for deer hunting on private lands in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Annes, St. Marys, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester Counties. Deer hunters took 3,702 deer from private properties across all counties open on Sunday last season.
Hunters are urged to inspect any permanent and portable tree stands before using them. Harness style safety belts should be used while climbing into or out of a tree stand, as well as while in the stand. Hunters are reminded to always exercise the fundamental commandments of firearms safety while afield.
Deer hunting provides outdoor recreation for more than 68,000 Marylanders, is a vital tool in managing deer populations, and contributes more than $150 million to the states economy each year.
Complete bag limits, season dates and other deer hunting information can be found online at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/deerregs.asp. The 2008-2009 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping issued with each hunting license contains detailed information about all of Marylands hunting seasons.
Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)