Hunters Harvest 27,000 Deer During Firearms Season
Weather a Factor in Final Numbers
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported taking 27,088 deer during the state’s most popular hunt, the two-week firearms season. The total harvest was 14% lower than last year’s official count of 31,631. Bad weather on key weekends contributed to the decline in many parts of the state.
More than 2,000 deer were taken on the two Sundays during the season, representing 8% the total harvest. Sunday hunting is currently permitted on select Sundays in 20 of 23 counties.
“Rain, ice, and fog once again hampered parts of the firearms season this year,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Fortunately, deer hunters in Maryland have additional opportunities to fill their freezer with venison during the remaining hunting dates in December and January.”
Hunters reported taking 10,249 antlered deer during the two-week season, down from last year’s official total of 13,283. The antlerless harvest decreased from 18,348 last year to 16,839 this year. Sika deer represented 387 of the total antlered harvest and 507 of the total antlerless harvest.
Hunters in Region A — Allegany, Garrett, and western Washington counties — reported taking 2,186 antlered and 1,102 antlerless deer. In the remainder of the state, hunters reported taking 8,063 antlered and 15,737 antlerless deer.
|Maryland Reported Antlered and Antlerless Deer Harvest for the Two-Week Firearm Season|
|County||2019||2018||% Change||2019||2018||% Change||2019||2018||% Change|
|*Small sample size|
During firearms season, Maryland requires deer hunters and their companions to wear daylight fluorescent orange or daylight fluorescent 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 prusik 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. Hunters are reminded that they 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.