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Deer Archery Season to Open September 5

Photo of large buck in a field of tall grass

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Archery hunting for white-tailed deer opens statewide on September 5, 2014 and continues through January 31, 2015. As a reminder, there is a statewide bag limit for bucks, but the antlerless deer bag limits differ between the two Deer Management Regions.

New this year, in Region A hunters may take only two antlerless deer for the license year. Also new, an antler point restriction institutes that a hunter may not harvest more than two white-tailed deer within the yearly bag limit that have two or fewer points on each antler present. Any additional antlered deer taken within the legal seasons and bag limits must have at least three points on one antler. Junior Hunting License holders are exempt from the antler point restriction.

Sika deer archery season is also open from September 5 through January 31 in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties. New this year, the sika deer archery season bag limit has increased to three deer with no more than one being antlered. An antlered sika is defined as a deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to check in deer taken with a long, compound or recurve bow as harvested with a vertical bow. Crossbow hunters will register their deer as taken with a crossbow. This information helps DNR biologists to continue to learn more about archery hunter preference and its associated impact on recreational opportunities, as well as the deer harvest.

DNR has added several Sunday hunting dates for archery hunters on designated public lands in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties. These, and other changes, are in the 2014-2015 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping or online in the What’s New section. Complete bag limits, season dates, registration procedures and hunting regulations are on the DNR website and in this year’s guide.

Hunters should carefully inspect all tree-stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while climbing in or out 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. For more information on tree-stand safety and to view a detailed video click here.

Hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. The program enables hunters to take deer to cooperating butchers and processors where they can donate them free of charge. The deer are processed and the venison is made available to local food banks. Last year, the program provided more than 600,000 venison meals to food banks and other feeding efforts. Learn more at

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