Deer Harvest Remains Strong During Recent Two-Week Firearm Season

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Dec. 22, 2008) — Maryland deer hunters continued a successful 2008 - 2009 deer season with an unofficial harvest of 44,802 deer during the recent two-week firearm season. The harvest represents a very slight decline compared to last year’s official harvest of 44,913 deer for the same period. The antlered harvest of 15,695 deer (474 sika deer) was down 2 percent compared to 16,018 antlered deer (443 sika deer) taken last year. This year’s antlerless harvest of 29,107 deer (570 sika deer) was a 1 percent increase over the 28,787 deer (493 sika deer) taken last year.

“It is encouraging to see the strong harvest we experienced early in the season continue through firearm season, particularly for antlerless deer,” said Wildlife and Heritage Service Deer Project Leader Brian Eyler. “Antlerless deer harvest remains our best tool to ensure successful deer population control.”

Hunters in Region A (Garrett and Allegany counties) reported 4,822 deer during the two-week season, a 5 percent increase compared to last year’s official harvest of 4,594 deer. The Region A antlered harvest decreased 7 percent from 2,899 deer last year to 2,699 deer this year, while the antlerless harvest increased 25 percent from 1,695 deer last year to 2,123 deer this year.

In Region B, the two-week firearm harvest decreased 1 percent from 40,319 deer last year to 39,980 deer this year. The antlered harvest decreased from 13,162 deer last year to 12,996 this year (-1%), while the antlerless harvest decreased from 27,157 to 26,984 deer this year (-1%).

While the weather cooperated for much of the two-week firearm season, junior firearm hunters were not so lucky. The Junior Firearm Deer hunt on November 15 was plagued with rain across much of the state. Junior hunters bagged an unofficial 1,526 deer, down 31 percent from last year’s official total of 2,211 deer. Junior hunters harvested 907 antlered deer and 619 antlerless deer this year compared to 1,237 antlered deer and 974 antlerless deer last year.

Junior hunters may obtain an official DNR Junior Hunter Certificate for deer that they harvest this year. The certificates are available from participating retail agents. Junior hunters can also have their picture posted on the DNR website by visiting

Maryland’s two-week late muzzleloader season opened Saturday, Dec. 20 and closes on Jan 3.

Complete bag limits, season dates and other hunting information can be found online at The 2008-2009 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping issued with each hunting license contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.

Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)


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