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Deer Firearm Season Reopens Jan. 8 in Maryland

Last Opportunity of the Season for Most Firearms Hunters

Photo of herd of deer on snow ground

Photo by Jan Branscome

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the January firearm deer hunting season opens Jan. 8, 2021, in Deer Management Region B, which includes all of the state except the westernmost counties. Hunters with a valid hunting license may use firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this season.

The season is open Jan. 8-9 in all of Region B. The season is open Sunday, Jan. 10 on private and designated public lands in Cecil and St. Mary’s counties, and on private lands only in Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Washington (Zone 1), and Worcester counties. Shooting hours end at 10:30 a.m. in Kent and Montgomery counties.“The January season offers deer hunters one last chance to fill their firearms season bag limit,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The typically strong antlerless harvest during this late season contributes significantly to managing the deer population in Region B.”

Hunters are reminded that during the designated firearm seasons they may now use rifles and handguns that employ straight-walled cartridges in all counties. Rifles and handguns that use bottleneck cartridges remain limited to those counties that permitted them previously. If using a straight-walled cartridge rifle, hunters should indicate they used a rifle, not a shotgun, when registering their harvest with the state’s automated check-in system. More information on this change, along with season bag limits and other deer hunting regulations, are available in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

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 are additionally reminded to use precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which includes keeping six feet away from anyone who does not reside with you, and wearing a facial covering when social distancing isn’t possible. 

Hunters should carefully inspect all tree-stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while in the stand and while climbing in or out. 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. 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.