Ninth Annual Youth Deer Hunt Set

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Maryland’s Ninth Youth Deer Hunt Day opens next Saturday, Nov. 15. Hunters 16 years of age and younger who are accompanied by an unarmed licensed adult at least 21 years of age can hunt antlered or antlerless deer on this Saturday.

“Most hunters begin hunting prior to the age of 20, and are usually introduced and taught this rich tradition by a close friend or family member,” said Paul A. Peditto, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service. “This special deer hunting opportunity introduces Maryland’s future deer hunters to one of the most challenging and rigorous recreational activities.”

Hunting, as well as other outdoor recreation, requires a learning period. Young deer hunters learn about deer behavior and biology, safe firearm handling and effective hunting techniques from more experienced hunters. Knowledge learned in Maryland’s Hunter Education Program is enhanced through the assistance of the experienced deer hunters. The future of deer management through hunting is dependent on recruiting effective, safe and ethical hunters.

Young deer hunters bagged 1,807 deer during the 2002 Youth Deer Hunt. Rainy and windy weather across Maryland prevented a new record for the Youth Hunt Day. The ten leading counties were Garrett (340), Washington (255), Allegany (210), Frederick (141), Worcester (97), Wicomico (96), Carroll (86), Dorchester (72), Somerset (68) and Caroline (51).

Junior hunters must be accompanied in the field by a person at least 21 years of age who possesses a valid Maryland hunting license, or is exempt from Maryland hunting license requirements. This adult may not be armed with a firearm, bow or any other hunting device.

Each young hunter may take one antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer in each of the four Deer Management Regions. In Regions B, C and D, the junior hunter may take an additional white-tailed deer. No more than one of these white-tailed deer may be antlered. Each young hunter may take one antlered or antlerless sika deer in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico or Worcester counties.

For additional information concerning Maryland deer hunting regulations, consult the DNR publication Hunting and Trapping in Maryland 2003-04. This publication is issued to hunters when they purchase a 2003-04 Maryland hunting license or can be found via the DNR Web site: www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/ Information about Maryland’s white-tailed and sika deer can be found via the DNR web site: www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/deerhunting.html.