Deer Archery Season Opens September 14

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This year's Maryland deer archery season opens Sept. 14, and runs through Jan. 31. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) uses four Deer Management Regions in order to manage deer resources. DNR employs independent bag limits for each region to ensure bag limits and season lengths are consistent with deer habitat, deer populations and hunting pressure within each region.

While archery deer hunting and the harvest data obtained from hunters is critical to the management of this species, archery hunting is also a traditional outdoor recreational experience. More than 37,000 bowhunters spend approximately 500,000 hunting days afield each year pursuing abundant deer populations across Maryland's varied landscape.

Bow hunters should note two changes this year to deer bag limits. In Region B bow hunters may now take three deer, and no more than one deer may be antlered. In Region D, sika deer bow hunters are limited to two sika deer, one antlered and one antlerless. In addition, an antlered sika deer is now defined as any sika deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.

Also, Maryland's new hunting license structure requires resident and non-resident bowhunters to purchase a Bow Stamp (Resident-$6; Non-Resident-$25) in addition to a Regular Hunting License. Bonus Antlered Deer Stamps (Resident-$10; Non-resident-$25) entitle all license holders to take a second antlered deer for each deer management region and season, except Region B. Bonus deer stamps are no longer required to take antlerless deer.

Maryland's bow deer hunters took 18,356 deer in 2001. The 10 leading counties for the 2001 bow harvest were: Frederick (1,727); Baltimore (1,628); Washington (1,521); Garrett (1,367); Allegany (1,313); Carroll (1,138); Howard (955); Montgomery (901); Harford (821); Kent (768).

Complete bag limits, season dates and bow hunting regulations can be found at the DNR Web site, www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide. The 2002-2003 "Guide to Hunting & Trapping", issued with each hunting license, also contains detailed information about all of Maryland's hunting seasons.