Maryland's Late Muzzleloader Deer Season Opens December 17

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will open Maryland’s late muzzleloader season for deer December 17 through December 31, 2011. The early winter season is popular with deer hunters and is an important part of deer management in Maryland.

“Muzzleloader hunters contribute positively to deer management in Maryland because of their willingness to take female deer,” said DNR’s Deer Project Leader, Brian Eyler. “Harvesting females is essential for effective deer management and it is always challenging to remove enough to meet our population goals.”

The muzzleloader season is also open for sika deer in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties.

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. For more information regarding CWD and the regulations pertaining to the Disease Management Area 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 tree stands before using them. A full-body safety harness should be used while climbing into or out of a tree stand 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. Visit dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/ts.asp for more information or to view a video on tree stand safety.

For complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and other deer hunting information visit dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide. The 2011-2012 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping issued with each hunting license contains detailed information on all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.