First Sunday Firearms Hunt

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On Sunday, firearm deer hunters were able to hunt on private land in 12 counties (Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington) for the first time in modern deer hunting history. An estimated 2,899 deer were tallied on Sunday bringing the opening weekend preliminary total to 15,533. This tally is almost equal to the preliminary total of 15,473 deer taken in 2002.

The gusty wind chill last Saturday across the state created poor deer hunting conditions for the opening day of Maryland’s firearm deer season. An estimated 12,634 deer were taken on Saturday, an 18 percent decline from the preliminary 2002 opening day figure.

“Fortunately, hunters were able to participate in 12 counties on Sunday, leading to a harvest of nearly 3,000 additional deer, which more than made up for the decline in deer harvests on Saturday due to the weather,” Paul A. Peditto, Director of DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service.

Because deer hunters are not required to check deer into the county in which they were taken, these preliminary totals are subject to change. The final deer harvest analysis will be conducted at the close of all deer hunting seasons, using final harvest numbers.