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Opening Day of Firearms Season Impacted by Weather

Sunday Hunting Salvages Opening Weekend

Photo of buck standing in clearing by Steve Edwards

Photo by Steve Edwards

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that deer hunters reported harvesting 10,008 deer on the opening weekend of the 2018 Maryland firearm season, a decline from last year’s official total of 13,622 deer for the same period. Significant rain across the state Saturday was largely responsible for the decrease.

The total includes 5,501 antlered and 4,507 antlerless deer, with sika deer comprising 205 of the antlered and 203 of the antlerless totals. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 8.

“Deer hunters have been plagued with unfavorable weather for much of the season, and the Saturday firearm opener was no different,” Associate Director for the Wildlife and Heritage Service Karina Stonesifer said. “Fortunately many counties were open to deer hunting Sunday and those counties experienced some of the highest harvests on record. More than one-third of the check-ins were taken Sunday.”

Hunters in Region A (western Maryland) reported harvesting 1,147 deer, down from last year’s harvest of 1,458. In Region B, the antlered deer harvest decreased from 4,856 last year to 4,354 this year, and the antlerless harvest decreased from 7,308 to 4,507.

Deer hunters harvested 3,787 deer (1,897 antlered; 1,890 antlerless) Sunday, up from the official total of 3,395 last year. Hunting is permitted on select Sundays in 20 counties and has become increasingly popular with hunters across the state. Frederick County led the Sunday harvest with 470 deer taken.

Junior hunters tolerated a windy Saturday to take 2,163 deer during the Junior Deer Hunt Days, down from the official harvest of 2,465 last year. They registered 1,454 antlered and 709 antlerless deer.

Maryland Unofficial Results of Junior Deer Hunt (Nov. 10-11, 2018) and
Opening Weekend Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 24-25, 2018)
County Junior Hunt Opening Weekend Firearm Season
        Saturday   Sunday   Total
  Antlered Antlerless Total Antlered Antlerless Total Antlered Antlerless Total  
Allegany 125 51 176 252 0 252 180 0 180 432
Anne Arundel 12 5 17 68 63 131 28 56 84 215
Baltimore 17 17 34 154 147 301 * * * 301
Calvert 19 6 25 34 38 72 29 54 83 155
Caroline 44 25 69 110 129 239 64 127 191 430
Carroll 98 61 159 305 231 536 149 162 311 847
Cecil 61 38 99 139 131 270 74 94 168 438
Charles 43 10 53 81 62 143 63 62 125 268
Dorchester                    
whitetail 45 31 76 120 115 235 61 76 137 372
sika 20 23 43 124 154 278 63 92 155 433
Frederick 131 62 193 398 271 669 218 252 470 1139
Garrett 248 81 329 314 0 314 202 0 202 516
Harford 16 25 41 110 108 218 44 67 111 329
Howard 15 1 16 67 62 129 * * * 129
Kent 41 24 65 117 122 239 63 124 187 426
Montgomery 39 17 56 100 93 193 48 49 97 290
Prince George’s 13 4 17 54 47 101 * * * 101
Queen Anne’s 48 13 61 138 150 288 74 118 192 480
Somerset                    
whitetail 71 45 116 92 97 189 63 65 128 317
sika 1 0 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 2
St. Mary’s 26 14 40 54 45 99 37 46 83 182
Talbot 31 14 45 88 127 215 50 98 148 363
Washington 114 43 157 347 116 463 194 83 277 740
Wicomico                    
whitetail 79 44 123 165 114 279 85 112 197 476
sika 1 1 2 10 5 15 3 2 5 20
Worcester                    
whitetail 96 54 150 158 190 348 105 151 256 604
sika 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 3
Total 1454 709 2163 3604 2617 6221 1897 1890 3787 10008
*Sunday hunting not permitted.                       

Hunters are encouraged to consult the Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping for additional changes to bag limits, regulations and registration procedures.During firearm season, Maryland requires deer hunters and their companions to wear daylight fluorescent orange or pink in one of the following manners: a cap of solid fluorescent daylight orange or pink; a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of fluorescent daylight orange or pink; or an outer garment of camouflage daylight fluorescent orange or pink worn above the waist and containing at least 50 percent daylight fluorescent color.

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.

Maryland hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. New this year, hunters may claim a tax credit of up to $50 for each legally-harvested deer that is processed and donated to a nonprofit food sharing program. The maximum credit in any one tax year is $200 per hunter. The approved form to claim this credit is available online.


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