Deer Harvest Slightly Declines

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Unfavorable hunting conditions and weather led to a one percent decline in the Maryland total deer hunting season harvest for 2001-2002.

Maryland's 2001-2002 total deer hunting season harvest totaled 83,787. A total of 82,206 white-tailed deer and 1,581 sika deer were bagged.

Fog, wind, rain, and unseasonably warm temperatures during the two-week firearm season contributed to a 13 percent decline in harvest numbers. Firearm deer hunters took 42,321 deer, down from 48,248 in the previous year.

Bow and muzzleloader seasons set new deer harvest records. Bow hunters took 18,356 deer, a 1 percent increase from 2000-2001. Muzzleloader deer hunters bagged 23,110 deer, a 26 percent increase from the previous year.

The top ten counties for the 2001 total deer harvest are: Frederick (8,054); Washington (7,259); Allegany (7,220); Garrett (6,264); Carroll (4,499); Dorchester (4,397); Baltimore (4,392); Kent (3,896); Worcester (3,737); Montgomery (3,546).

Maryland deer hunters spend over 1.1 million days pursuing white-tailed and sika deer across the state. Hunting is an important component of many localized deer management programs that incorporate other lethal, nonlethal and educational tools. During the 2001-2002 season, Maryland deer hunters donated forty-five tons of venison to the needy through Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, a nonprofit organization.