Early Muzzleloader Deer Season Opens In October in Maryland
The first portion of Maryland’s muzzleloader deer season opens on October 20. This is one of many deer seasons that DNR offers each year from September to January to create recreational opportunities and meet deer management goals.
“The muzzleloader deer hunting season is an important component of DNR’s deer management plan,” said Brian Eyeler, DNR’s deer project leader. “Last year the October muzzleloader season accounted for 60 percent of the total muzzleloader harvest for the year. Hunting relatively unpressured deer during great fall weather has made this season popular with novice and veteran deer hunters alike.”
The October segment of the muzzleloader season is from October 20-22 in Deer Management Region A, which consists of Garrett and Allegany counties and the western portion of Washington County (land codes 250 & 251). In Region B, the early muzzleloader season has an either sex portion that runs from October 20-22 and an antlerless-only period from October 24-29. Deer Management Region B includes the eastern portion of Washington County (land code 252) and the remaining 20 counties.
The early muzzleloader season is open for sika deer in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties. Hunters may take one sika deer of either sex from October 20-22 and one antlerless deer from October 24-29.
New this year, a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Area (land code 233) has been established in a portion of Allegany County with regulations designed to prevent the unintentional spread of CWD to other locations. Hunters wanting more information regarding CWD and the regulations pertaining to the Disease Management Area should visit dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/deer/disease/cwdinformation.asp or consult the 2011-2012 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.
Hunters are urged to carefully inspect all treestands before using them. A full-body safety harness should be used while climbing into or out of a treestand and while in the stand. DNR strongly recommends using a sliding knot, commonly known as a prussic knot, attached to a line that is secured above the stand that allows the hunter to be safely tethered to the tree as soon as they leave the ground. For more information on treestand safety and a helpful video, visit dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/ts.asp
Complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and other deer hunting information can be found at dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide. The 2011-2012 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping issued with each hunting license contains detailed information about all Maryland’s hunting seasons.