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Hunters Harvest 31,000 Deer During Firearms Season

Harvest Numbers Strong Despite Poor Weather

Photo of buck in clearing

Photo by Steve Edwards

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported taking 31,588 deer during the state’s most popular hunt, the two-week firearms season. The total was eight percent lower than last year’s official harvest of 34,502. Bad weather during the prime Saturday hunt days contributed to the decline in many parts of the state.

More than 4,400 deer were taken on the two Sundays during the season, representing 14 percent of the total harvest. Sunday hunting is currently permitted on select Sundays in 20 of 23 counties.

“The two-week firearms season remains our most popular deer season, affording hunters the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The option to hunt on Sundays in some counties increases this time afield and contributes significantly to sustainable management of deer in Maryland.”

Hunters reported taking 13,262 antlered deer during the season, up slightly from last year’s official total of 12,767. The antlerless harvest decreased from 21,735 last year to 18,326 this year. Sika deer represented 502 of the total antlered harvest and 560 of the total antlerless harvest.

In western Maryland (Region A), hunters reported taking 4,731 white-tailed deer, a five percent increase from last year’s harvest of 4,498. The region’s harvest was comprised of 2,903 antlered and 1,828 antlerless deer. In the remainder of the state (Region B), the white-tailed deer harvest decreased 10 percent from last year’s harvest of 30,004 to 26,857 deer this year. The Region B total included 10,359 antlered and 16,498 antlerless deer.

Maryland Reported Antlered and Antlerless Deer Harvest for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 Two Week Firearm Season
  Antlered Antlerless Total
County 2017-18 2018-19 % Change 2017-18 2018-19 % Change 2017-18 2018-19 % Change
Allegany 1,055 1,095 3.8 534 628 17.6 1,589 1,723 8.4
Anne Arundel 247 227 -8.1 474 387 -18.4 721 614 -14.8
Baltimore 491 483 -1.6 1,004 795 -20.8 1,495 1,278 -14.5
Calvert 185 193 4.3 370 333 -10 555 526 -5.2
Caroline 385 416 8.1 946 905 -4.3 1,331 1,321 -0.8
Carroll 929 1014 9.1 1,693 1,334 -21.2 2,622 2,348 -10.5
Cecil 516 541 4.8 991 972 -1.9 1,507 1,513 0.4
Charles 387 380 -1.8 814 483 -40.7 1,201 863 -28.1
Dorchester                  
whitetail 307 382 24.4 759 619 -18.4 1,066 1,001 -6.1
sika 384 459 19.5 446 539 20.9 830 998 20.2
Frederick 1,246 1,272 2.1 2,248 1,701 -24.3 3,494 2,973 -14.9
Garrett 1,504 1,404 -6.6 789 1,006 27.5 2,293 2,410 5.1
Harford 381 364 -4.5 717 629 -12.3 1,098 993 -9.6
Howard 181 210 16 340 325 -4.4 521 535 2.7
Kent 468 449 -4.1 991 859 -13.3 1,459 1,308 -10.3
Montgomery 416 365 -12.3 801 516 -35.6 1,217 881 -27.6
Prince George’s 239 252 5.4 432 370 -14.4 671 622 -7.3
Queen Anne’s 485 479 -1.2 1,240 904 -27.1 1,725 1,383 -19.8
Saint Mary’s 250 248 -0.8 605 404 -33.2 855 652 -23.7
Somerset                  
whitetail 318 364 14.5 859 640 -25.5 1,177 1,004 -14.7
sika 0 3 * 0 2 * 0 5 I
Talbot 281 341 21.4 939 788 -16.1 1,220 1,129 -7.5
Washington 1,038 1,113 7.2 1,098 1,061 -3.4 2,136 2,174 1.8
Wicomico                  
whitetail 463 544 17.5 1,199 893 -25.5 1,662 1,437 -13.5
sika 37 39 * 28 18 * 65 57 *
Worcester                  
whitetail 571 624 9.3 1,413 1,214 -14.1 1,984 1,838 -7.4
sika 3 1 * 5 1 * 8 2 *
Total 12,767 13,262 3.9 21,735 18,326 -15.7 34,502 31,588 -8.4
*Small sample size

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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