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Early Muzzleloader Deer Season to Open October 17

deer in forestThe first segment of the muzzleloader deer season opens on October 17. This segment serves as one of many seasons the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers from September to January each year to provide hunters with recreation and food, and manage Maryland’s deer population.

The early muzzleloader season will run from October 17-19 in Deer Management Region A, consisting of Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties (private land codes 250 & 251). In Region B, the remainder of the State, there will be an antlerless-only segment from October 21-26.

As a reminder, there is a statewide bag limit for antlered deer (bucks) of one per weapon season (i.e., bow, muzzleloader and firearm seasons). Hunters in Region B have the option to take one additional bonus buck after purchasing a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp and taking two antlerless deer. The antlerless deer bag limits differ between the two Deer Management Regions.

The early muzzleloader season is open for sika deer in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties. Hunters may take one sika deer of either sex from October 17-19 and one antlerless sika from October 21-26.

DNR urges hunters to carefully inspect all tree-stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while climbing in or out and while in a 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 the DNR website to see more information on tree-stand safety and view a detailed video.

Complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and hunting regulations are in the 2013-2014 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping or online at

DNR encourages deer hunters to donate any unwanted harvest to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry program, Last year more than 600,000 venison meals were provided to food banks through the program.

Keep up to date with DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service on Facebook and Twitter @MDDNRWildlife.