Maryland Deer Season Opens Saturday Nov 25
Maryland's most popular deer hunting season opens Saturday, November 25. Forty-eight percent of all deer taken by hunters during all hunting seasons occurs during the two-week firearm deer season.
Deer Management Region A's (Allegany, Garrett) firearm bag limit is two deer- one antlered and one antlerless. Only antlered deer may be taken during November 25 – December 8. Antlered or antlerless deer may be taken on December 9.
Deer Management Region B's white-tailed deer firearm bag limit is two antlered deer and 10 antlerless deer during the season that opens on November 25 and runs through December 9. Two antlerless deer must be taken before a second antlered deer is pursued.
Sika deer firearm season covers November 25 through December 9 in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The sika bag limit is one antlered and one antlerless sika deer. An antlered sika deer is a sika deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.
The first Sunday of firearm season (November 26) is open for deer hunting on private lands in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Talbot, and Washington counties. Deer hunters took 2,701 deer from private properties across 12 counties on Sunday last season, 12.5 percent of the two-week firearm harvest (private lands) for these 12 counties.
Successful Maryland deer hunters should register their deer by calling 1-888-800-0121 or through the internet, www.gamecheck.dnr.state.md.us. Before moving the deer from place of kill, hunters must immediately attach a field tag on the deer's head and record the harvest on their Maryland Big Game Harvest Record portion of their hunting license. Both forms must be completed in ink. Successful hunters must register the deer within 24 hours of harvest. Upon registering the deer, hunters will be given a confirmation number that is recorded on the Big Game Harvest Record. Detailed instructions for this registration process are located on pages 28 –29 of the 2006 – 2007 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland.
New and improved field tags and butcher/taxidermy tags are located on pages 28 and 29 of the 2006-2007 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland. This season's tags provide an improved writing surface material and a more tear resistant hole. DNR made these changes in response to suggestions from the Maryland hunting public. Unused field tags and butcher/taxidermy tags from last season are still valid for tagging deer and turkey during the coming hunting seasons.
Successful junior deer hunters (age 16 and under) are eligible to receive a junior hunter game certificate from designated junior hunter certificate agents. Local participating businesses can be found on page 52 of the 2006 – 2007 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland. Hunters can visit the local agent and receive an attractive certificate commemorating the bagging of any deer.
The top ten counties for 2005-06 firearm white-tailed deer harvest were as follows: Washington (5440); Frederick (4022); Worcester (3125); Carroll (2788); Garrett (2557); Montgomery (2477); Baltimore (2389); Kent (2300); Allegany (2299); and Charles (2294).
Landscapes with deer hunting management programs contain lower deer numbers and more diverse wildlife species than non-hunting areas. Deer feed on woodland plants, such as under story shrubs, wild flowers, vines and forbs. High numbers of browsing deer reduce the under story vegetation. Therefore, forests with deer numbers more in balance with the habitat contain a greater diversity of plants. Plant diversity creates wildlife diversity. This vegetated forest contributes to the health of the Chesapeake Bay by absorbing nutrients before they reach the Bay's tributaries.
Deer hunters should inspect their permanent tree stands and portable tree stands before using them. Safety belts should be used while climbing into a tree stand, hunting from a tree stand and while climbing down. Last deer season, two thirds of Maryland's deer hunting accidents involved trees stands.
Maryland's firearms deer hunting season is one component of DNR's deer management project. Firearms deer hunting combined with archery and muzzleloader deer seasons provides outdoor recreation for over 74,000 Marylanders, manages white-tailed deer and sika deer populations and contributes over $150 million to the state’s economy.
Complete bag limits, season dates and other deer hunting information can be found on the DNR website, www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide. The 2006-2007 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland, issued with each hunting license, contains detailed information about all of Maryland's hunting seasons.