Deer Archery Season Opener Today

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that archery hunting for deer opens Thursday, Sept. 15, and continues through Jan. 31, 2006.

Deer Management Region A’s (Garrett and Allegany counties) white-tailed deer archery bag limit is now two deer, one antlered and one antlerless. This change was implemented as part of a plan to reduce antlerless harvest in that Region after regulated deer hunting dropped Region A’s deer numbers below levels established by Maryland’s deer management plan.

In Deer Management Region B, archers may take two antlered white-tailed deer. However, as in the past, two antlerless deer must be taken before attempting to hunt a second antlered deer. The bag limit for antlerless deer in Region B is 10 antlerless deer, except that archers in the Suburban Deer Archery Zone (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s) may take an unlimited number of antlerless deer.

Sika deer archery season is also open from Sept.15 through Jan. 31, 2006, in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The sika deer bag limit is one (1) antlered and one (1) antlerless sika deer. An antlered sika deer is a deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.

This year, successful Maryland deer hunters will now register their deer by calling 1-888-800-0121 or online at Hunters must immediately attach a completed field tag to the head of the deer and complete the Maryland Big Game Harvest Record provided with the hunting license. Hunters will receive a confirmation number when registering the deer. All documents must be recorded in ink. Complete instructions for the new check-in process are located on pages 26 – 27 of the “2005-2006 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland” or at

Also new this year; successful Junior Deer Hunters (age 16 and under) are eligible to receive a “Junior Hunter Game Certificate” from designated Junior Hunter Game Certification Agents. See page 51 of the “2005-2006 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland” for your local participating agent who can issue an attractive certificate commemorating the successful Junior deer or turkey hunt.

Sunday Nov. 6, is open for archery hunting for deer on private land in the following counties: Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Talbot and Washington. In addition, archery hunters may hunt deer on private land in Dorchester County on the following Sundays: Oct.16, 23 and 30 and Nov.6 and 13.

Crossbow hunting for deer will be permitted on Oct.1 – 15, and Jan.16 – 31, 2006. Crossbows are also legal for all hunters during the firearm and muzzleloader seasons. Any deer taken with a crossbow will count toward the hunter’s appropriate Regional Bow Bag Limit.

Deer taken with a straight limb bow, recurve bow or compound bow must be registered as taken with a vertical bow. Deer taken with a crossbow must be registered as taken with a crossbow. This information will allow DNR biologists to accurately determine the influence of crossbows on Maryland’s deer management.

Crossbow and vertical bow (straight limb, recurve, compound) hunters must possess a Bow Stamp with a valid hunting license in order to hunt deer during Maryland’s archery season. All archery hunters must also purchase a Muzzleloader Stamp in order to hunt with a bow (vertical or crossbow) during the Muzzleloader Deer Season.

For the 2004-2005 season, 50,500 Maryland residents and 6800 non-residents purchased bow stamps to archery hunt deer in Maryland.

Last season a total of 19,193 deer (8087 antlered bucks, 9382 does, 1724 button bucks) were taken with all archery equipment. Vertical bow hunters bagged 17,649 deer. Crossbow hunters harvested 351 deer during the 2004-05 four-week crossbow season. Total crossbow deer harvest (disabled hunters, firearm season, muzzleloader season, 4-week crossbow season) was 942.

The top 10 Maryland counties for 2004-2005 archery harvest were as follows: Baltimore (2057); Washington (1482); Montgomery (1466); Harford (1358); Frederick (1301); Carroll (1001); Allegany (978); Howard (972); Garrett (967); Anne Arundel (838).

Maryland’s Archery Deer Hunting Season is part of the Maryland DNR deer management plan. Archery hunting, combined with firearm and muzzleloader deer hunting, provides outdoor recreation for 80,000 Maryland residents; manages white-tailed deer and sika deer populations, and contributes over $150 million annually to Maryland’s economy.

Complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and bow hunting regulations can be found at the DNR website, The “2005-2006 Guide to Hunting & Trapping” In Maryland, issued with each hunting license, also contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.