Maryland Deer Archery Hunting Season Now Open
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Marylanders that archery hunting for deer is open now through January 31, 2012. Last season hunters took a total of 27,286 deer (9,996 antlered and 17,290 antlerless) with archery equipment.
“Archery hunting is often the most practical deer management strategy for many of urban and suburban areas,” said Brian Eyler, DNR’s Deer Project Leader. “Archery hunters using both vertical bows and crossbows now account for over 25 percent of the total annual deer harvest.”
Deer hunting regulations vary between the two Deer Management Regions in Maryland. Region A consists of Garrett and Allegany counties and the western half of Washington County. Region B includes eastern Washington County and the remaining 20 counties. The white-tailed deer archery bag limit for Deer Management Region A is two deer, one antlered and one antlerless. Additionally, no more than two antlerless deer may be taken on public lands in Region A with any combination of the bow, muzzleloader and firearm bag limits, excluding Junior Deer Hunt Days.
In most of Deer Management Region B, archers may take two antlered and ten antlerless white-tailed deer. However, a second antlered deer may not be harvested until two antlerless deer have been taken. Additionally, a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp is required to take a second antlered deer. Archers in the Suburban Deer Archery Zone (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties), may take an unlimited number of antlerless deer.
New this year, a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Area has been established in a small portion of Allegany County with regulations designed to prevent the unintentional spread of CWD to other locations in Maryland. Hunters should consult the 2011-2012 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping or visit the DNR Website to learn more about CWD at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/deer/disease/cwdinformation.asp.
Sika deer archery season is open now through January 31, 2012 in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The sika deer bag limit is two, one antlered and one antlerless, or two antlerless deer during the archery season. An antlered sika deer is defined as a deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.
When checking in a deer taken with archery equipment, hunters should record deer taken with a straight limb bow, recurve bow or compound bow as taken with a vertical bow. Deer taken with a crossbow should be recorded as such. This will allow DNR biologists to continue to monitor the influence crossbows may have on Maryland’s deer management program.
A number of Sundays will be open to bow hunting on private land during the 2011-2012 hunting season, varying by county. For a complete listing of Sunday bow hunting opportunities, hunters may refer to the 2010-2011 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping, which is issued with each hunting license and also contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons. Hunters may also find this information as well as complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and bow hunting regulations on the DNR website at www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide.