Skip to Main Content

Maryland Deer Archery Season Opens Sept. 7

Hunters May Now Claim a Tax Credit for Donated Processed Venison

Photo of bucks by Reinhardt Sahmel

Bucks by Reinhardt Sahmel

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that archery hunting for white-tailed and sika deer opens statewide Sept. 7, and continues through Jan. 31, 2019.

“Archery hunting remains an effective and important part of our deer management strategy,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Archery hunters harvest over 25,000 deer each year, many from urban and suburban areas where excessive deer numbers are especially problematic. The early archery season is also a great time to be in the woods with friends and family, enjoying the autumn weather.”

For the 2018-19 season, the statewide bag limit for white-tailed bucks has been decreased to two deer. Maryland hunters in Region B (central, southern and eastern Maryland) have the option to take one additional bonus buck after purchasing a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp. The antlerless deer bag limits differ between deer management regions. In Region B the antlerless archery limit has been reduced to 15.

An antler-point restriction remains in effect. Deer hunters may now harvest one antlered white-tailed deer within the yearly bag limit that does not meet the requirement of having at least three points on one antler. Any additional antlered deer taken within the established bag limit must meet the minimum point restriction. Licensed junior hunters and apprentice license holders, 16 years of age or younger, are exempt from this restriction.

The sika deer archery season bag limit is three 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 sika deer archery season is open in every county.

Multiple Sundays are open to archery hunting in most counties, including on some public lands.

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. The department 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.

When checking in deer, hunters should report deer taken with a long, compound or recurve bow as harvested with a vertical bow. Crossbow hunters should register their deer as taken with a crossbow. This information helps biologists collect information on preferences and trends in how deer are harvested.

Maryland hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Last year, the program provided more than 650,000 venison meals to community food banks and other efforts. New this year, Maryland hunters may claim a tax credit for donated processed venison. Hunters who legally harvest a deer and pay to have that deer processed and donated to a nonprofit food sharing program may take a credit of up to $50 per processed deer on their taxes. The maximum credit in any one tax year is $200 per hunter. The approved form to help facilitate the process is available here.


ae1a-ewspw-web1