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Maryland Department of Natural Resources Offers Mentored Deer Hunts in Dorchester County

‘First Shot’ program is designed for first-time adult hunters

Photo of deer drinking water in a marshy area

Photo by Earl Blansfield, submitted to the 2020 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering novice adult hunters an opportunity to hunt for deer at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas in Dorchester County this October. 

The First Shot Mentored Deer Hunt introduces first time adult hunters (18 and older) that do not otherwise have the skill set or knowledge to hunt deer on their own, and would like to learn and hunt with skilled veteran hunters. The department runs the program in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation Maryland State Chapter and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Applications are being taken now through Sept. 4 to join a hunt on one of three days in 2023–October 27, 28 or 29. The program is free of charge and no experience is necessary to participate

Space is limited and participants will be selected via random lottery. Selected hunters will be notified via phone and email by September 11. If selected, participating hunters are required to obtain a valid Maryland Hunting License or Apprentice License within three days of acceptance into the program, and participate in a mandatory orientation on October 15.