Deer Firearms Season to Open Soon

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Maryland's 2001-2002 Deer Firearms Season opens Nov. 24 for white-tailed deer and sika deer. Over 69,400 hunters participated in last year?s firearms deer season, and each spent an average of 5.5 days hunting white-tailed deer and sika deer.

Firearms deer hunting is a major component of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) diversified deer management program. As deer populations continue to flourish throughout the state, current deer seasons and bag limits support the harvest of antlerless deer in order to manage deer populations.

Hunting is an important component of many localized deer management programs that incorporate other lethal, nonlethal and educational tools.

Maryland has four Deer Management Regions. Independent deer bag limits have been established for each region. The number of deer that a firearm hunter can take in one region will not affect the hunter?s bag limit in other regions during the two-week firearm deer season (Nov. 24 through Dec. 8).

The complete bag limits and season dates for all of the regions can be found at the DNR Web site: www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/deerregs.html or the 2001-2002 Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland. This publication is also available at all DNR Service Centers and is issued to hunters when they purchase a 2001-2002 Maryland hunting license.

DNR urges hunters to follow hunting safety guidelines as the 2001-2002 Deer Firearms Season opens Nov. 24 for white-tailed deer and sika deer.

One of the most popular pieces of equipment used by deer hunters is a tree stand. Tree stands can be dangerous if they are used incorrectly or carelessly.

Each year, dozens of Maryland hunters sustain injuries from incorrect or careless use of tree stands. Nationally, one in three hunting injuries involves a tree stand. Falls from tree stands can be caused by a variety of factors, including a weakness in the stand?s structure and incorrect installation.

To help prevent these accidents, follow these safety precautions:

  • Never carry equipment with you while climbing. Use a haul line to raise or lower your gear. Make sure guns are unloaded and broadheads are covered prior to raising or lowering firearms or bows with a haul line.
  • Since most accidents occur when hunters are climbing up or down a tree, always use a climbing belt, and use a safety belt or harness when hunting from elevated tree stands.
  • Check permanent tree stands every year before hunting from them, and replace any worn or weak lumber.
  • Wear boots with non-skid soles, because steps or platforms can be slippery in rain, sleet or snow.
  • Don?t fall asleep. This is a common cause of accidents. If you get drowsy, move your arms rapidly until you feel alert.
  • As a precautionary measure, remove all logs, upturned and cutoff saplings, rocks and other obstructions on the ground below the tree stand.
  • Use updated equipment. When used properly, newer tree stand equipment is solid, safe and secure. Older models of safety belts offer some protection, but newer safety harnesses offer more protection.
  • Carry a whistle to call for help and carry a first aid kit, flashlight and cellular telephone with you.