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Maryland Hunters Harvest 76,687 Deer for 2022-2023 Season

Statewide Harvest Increased 8% from Previous Year

Photo of four antlerless deer in a field

Photo by Mary Pat Bozel, submitted to the 2021 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that deer hunters harvested 76,687 deer during the combined archery, firearms, and muzzleloader seasons, from Sept. 9, 2022 through Feb. 3, 2023.

The statewide harvest included 29,682 antlered and 42,872 antlerless white-tailed deer, and 1,908 antlered and 2,225 antlerless sika deer. The harvest was 8% higher than the 2021-2022 total of 70,845 deer. The increased harvest is credited to more participation by hunters and favorable weather. Read more…

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Proposes 2023-2024 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons

Public Can View and Comment Online Through March 1

Photo of geese flying overhead

Photo by Angelia Viley, submitted to the Maryland DNR 2018 Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has posted the proposed 2023-2024 Migratory Game Bird Seasons for public review. As in years past, DNR is providing an online forum to collect public comment on these proposals now through March 1.  

The DNR website also includes a presentation reviewing the current status of relevant waterfowl stocks, including Atlantic Population (migratory) Canada geese.  Read more…

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Conducting Controlled Burn at Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area

Burn Provides Numerous Environmental Benefits

Photo of staff member burning a small brush area to establish a fire line

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is conducting a controlled burn at Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) between now and February 28 as weather and other conditions allow. UPDATE: Burn operations have been extended into March. 

Residents and visitors to the area are advised they may see smoke in the area southwest of Rawlings, and be assured it is not a forest fire. This burn will consist of a low, controlled flame targeting underbrush and ground cover debris. Read more…

Secretary’s Message – February 2023

Join Maryland’s Mission for a Sustainable Future

Photo of sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay

Photo by Wendy Crowe, submitted to 2017 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

I am honored to serve as Acting Secretary of Natural Resources for the Moore-Miller administration. This is an exciting time for Maryland, and it is a privilege to be a part of a passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable team that is working to provide a healthier, sustainable environment. 

Born and raised in Maryland, I am an avid hiker and camper with an annual personal goal of 30 nights outdoors. My love for our natural resources comes from years of enjoying them all across the state. Those experiences led me to pursue a wildlife conservation degree from the University of Delaware and a career focused on finding broader solutions to issues facing our shared resources. 

I am excited to join and lead the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s mission of securing a sustainable future for our environment, economy and society by expanding opportunities for the innovative green economy and ensuring sustainability for our natural resource-based industries; increasing mitigation and enhancing resilience to climate effects while restoring water quality in our rivers and streams leading to the Chesapeake Bay; and providing greater and equitable access to our share resources.  Read more…

Maryland Winter Turkey Season Harvest Up 25%

January Season Yield Spiked in Several Counties

Photo of turkeys in a snowy field

Photo by Isaac Bonneville, submitted to the 2017 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that hunters took 84 wild turkeys during the 2023 winter turkey season, which was open statewide Jan. 19-21. This year’s harvest was 25% above the 2022 total of 67 turkeys.

Allegany, Frederick, Washington, Anne Arundel, and Charles counties reported the highest harvests. Adult males, or “toms”, comprised 70% of the harvest with the remainder being females and juveniles. About 77% were taken with a shotgun, but some hunters used a crossbow or vertical bow to harvest their turkeys. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – Late Winter

Photo of girl on a dock holding a yellow fish

Young angler Lucy Perez kicked off 2023 with her first chain pickerel caught at Loch Raven Reservoir. Photo by Nick Perez

Some may believe February is a month for indoor activities, but there is plenty of winter fishing to be enjoyed. There are excellent opportunities for large tautog off Ocean City, fishing for many freshwater species is good, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources crews are placing generous amounts of trout in put-and-take waters near you – check the DNR trout stocking website. With some mild weather in the forecast, gather up some young people to enjoy some outdoor fun.

Several of the 2023 Maryland Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean finfish seasons and regulations have been posted on the DNR website, including the 2023 Maryland recreational striped bass regulations

Also, Maryland’s 2023 recreational bluefish regulations are the same as last year, with an 8-inch minimum size and catch limits of three bluefish per day for individual anglers and five per day for anglers on for-hire boats. The summer flounder regulations for 2023 will be a maximum of four per day with a 16-inch minimum size. The 2023 recreational cobia season will be open June 15 through September 15, with limits of one cobia per angler or two cobia per vessel with more than two anglers onboard, and a minimum size of 40 inches. 

In the Atlantic Ocean, the tautog season is currently open through May 15 with a limit of four fish per day; the season reopens July 1 through October 31 with a daily limit of two fish per day, changing to a daily limit of four fish per day from November 1 through December 31. The minimum size for tautog during all seasons is 16 inches. 

The Atlantic mackerel, also known as a Boston mackerel, has a recreational limit of 20 fish per angler. The scup, also known as porgy, is open to fishing year-round with a recreational minimum size of 9 inches and a 50 fish-per-day creel limit. The black sea bass season is closed from January 1 through May 14, and additional regulations are to be determined by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

All seasons and regulations for every species of fish in Maryland can be found in the new Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing

Look for the weekly Maryland Fishing Report to resume in March.

Read more…

Maple Syrup Festival 2023 On Tap at Cunningham Falls State Park

Annual March Event Celebrates Mountain Maryland Tradition

Photo of boiling pot over wood fire

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites everyone to come celebrate the annual Maple Syrup Festival at Cunningham Falls State Park, the weekends of March 11-12 and March 18-19. During this event, held annually for more than 50 years, guests can gather around the Sugar Shack to watch sugarmakers demonstrate the traditional way of boiling sap into syrup against the backdrop of Maryland’s woodlands. Read more…

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Announces Midwinter Waterfowl Survey 2023 Results

Annual Survey of Wintering Waterfowl Finds Increase in Diving Ducks

Photo of ducks in water

Canvasbacks in the Choptank River, photo by Kenny Page, submitted to the 2022 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

In early January, aerial survey teams of pilots and biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made visual estimates of the ducks, geese, and swans along most of the state’s Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, and Atlantic coast shorelines. This year, the teams counted about 632,200 waterfowl, which was higher than the 563,800 birds observed in 2022 but lower than the most recent five-year average of 682,520 birds. Read more…

Maryland Department of Natural Resources Announces Winter Waterfowl Hunting Day for Youth, Veterans, and Military Members

Special Opportunity Offered Statewide Feb. 4

Photo of two Canada geese

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is encouraging Maryland’s youth hunters, veterans, and military personnel to experience the excitement of this season’s second special waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Read more…

Roadmap to Resilience: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Guides for State Lands

Photo of Assateague Island State Park on the perfect summer beach day

Assateague Island State Park on the perfect summer beach day

Maryland is known for its wildlife and natural resources, with recognizable symbols like the Chesapeake Bay, blue crabs, and the wild horses at Assateague State Park. Every year millions of Marylanders, as well as visitors from around the world, enjoy these attributes and all the recreational opportunities our state lands–park, forest, and other public properties–have to offer.

But all of that is under threat, as Maryland is one of the most vulnerable states to climate change in the United States. Increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, flooding, sea level rise, and invasive species all have an effect on the way our state’s natural resources can be enjoyed. To protect these opportunities and our natural resources, advanced planning, determination, and a commitment to the future is necessary. Read more…

Maryland’s 2023 Primitive Deer Hunt Runs Feb. 1-3

Final Opportunity for Deer Hunters for the 2022-23 Season

Photo of deer leaping above snowy terrain

Photo by Brendan Wolf, submitted to the 2019 Maryland DNR Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the state’s Primitive Deer Hunt will be open Feb. 1-3 statewide. Hunters with a valid hunting license, or those exempt from the hunting license requirement, may use primitive bows or muzzleloaders to hunt sika and white-tailed deer during these days.

Primitive hunting devices are defined as long bows, recurve bows, flintlock, or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders. Hunters may not use compound bows, crossbows, drawlocks, and telescopic or other electronic aiming devices. However, fiber optic sights are permitted on otherwise legal primitive bows or muzzleloaders. Read more…

Free Environmental Seminars Offered for Maryland Marinas and Boatyards

DNR Provides Introduction to Clean Marina Initiative

Logo of Maryland Clean Marina initiativeThe Maryland Clean Marina Initiative is hosting a series of seminars in February to introduce the voluntary environmental certification program to new participants. Managers of all types of marine facilities are encouraged to attend  to learn about best management practices that result in a cleaner, safer workplace and environment.  

Maryland Department of Natural Resource (DNR) staff will provide an introduction to the Maryland Clean Marina Initiative, its goals and benefits to businesses and the environment. Free Maryland Clean Marina Guidebooks, staff training guidance, and boater education materials will be provided. Staff from the Maryland Department of Environment will also explain the General Discharge Permit for Boatyards currently being drafted, and new oil control regulations that impact fuel dock operators.  Read more…

Winter Turkey Season Opens Across Maryland Jan. 19

Three-Day Hunting Opportunity Statewide

Photo of two turkeys in a field

Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the opening of the winter turkey season, which runs statewide from Jan. 19-21 for hunters who did not harvest a turkey during the 2022 fall season.

Hunting hours are from one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. The bag limit is one turkey of either sex.  Read more…

Nearly 5,000 People Hit the Trails for Maryland’s First Day Hikes

Marylanders Kick Off 2023 with Annual Tradition

Logo of Maryland State Parks I hiked 2023The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that 4,896 people hiked 9,780 miles during First Day Hikes in 41 state parks on New Year’s weekend. Between Dec. 31, 2022 and Jan. 2, 2023, there were 37 scheduled ranger-led programs with an additional 23 self-guided opportunities available on state public lands across Maryland.  Read more…

A Cozy Winter Reading List for 2023

Read any good books lately? The holiday season can sometimes feel like chaos, with our senses assaulted by crowds of people, electronic devices, and a roller coaster of changing weather conditions. Many of us may forget to enjoy the simple pleasure of reading in a quiet, cozy room, curled up under a blanket with our favorite furry family members or a hot beverage. With over two months of winter ahead of us, I’d like to take a page out of a librarian’s book and invite you to make time to read! To get you started, with the help of my coworkers, fellow scientists and naturalists, we’ve compiled a list of books we recommend to inspire you in your quest to create your own Wild Acres at home. Many thanks to our enthusiastic Facebook followers for suggestions as well! Read more…

Native Animal Profile: Stealthy (and Cute!) Owls

Out of the 18 species of owls found throughout North America, there are eight species of owls seen in Maryland.  Some are very common, such as the eastern screech owl or barred owl, yet some can only be seen occasionally in the winter or during migration, like the majestic snowy owl and the short-eared owl. Read more…

Natural Heritage Program’s Winter Work: Revisiting Maryland’s Tiger Salamanders

Photo of tiger salamander

A tiger salamander seeks love and parenthood in a restored Delmarva bay habitat by Kevin Stohlgren

Throughout a career in natural resources work, one of the questions I get most often is, “what do you do in the winter?” It is a common perception that there just isn’t much to do when it comes to field biology and conservation in the coldest season. It is true that the urgency caused by blooms and baby animals is less in the winter, but plenty of vital functions in the life histories of our native wildlife happen at this time of year. Read more…

Native Plant Profile: Evergreens

Photo of American holly

American holly (Ilex opaca) by Edwin Guevara

Winter is here, and for many animals that means either migrating or finding ways to hibernate and become less active in the winter months. For our plants and trees, the options are more limited. When temperatures start to dip and the days begin to shorten, deciduous trees and shrubs lose their leaves. What about plants that have the ability to remain green all year round? Read more…

In Praise of Dormancy

Photo of snow-covered mountains

Meadow Mountain Overlook in Garrett County by Victoria Schwinabart

It is winter in Maryland. The days are short. The weather is wacky; it could be snow, rain, wintry mix, 60 degrees and sunny. Just spin the wheel! In our former agrarian days, winter was a time to pause and take stock, to prepare for the coming spring. For Mother Nature and her wildlife, it’s time to slow down. Or is it? Winter and cold weather are vital to the life cycles of plants and animals. We could learn a thing or two about coping with stress from our friends in natural areas. Read more…

Maryland Firearm Deer Hunting Resumes Jan. 6

Weekend Hunt Provides Additional Opportunity

Photo of five deer standing in a snowy field

Photo by Randall Gornowich, submitted to the 2022 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today announced the January firearm deer hunting season opens Jan. 6, 2023, 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 winter firearm season is open Jan. 6-7 in all of Region B. The season is also open through Sunday, Jan. 8 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. Read more…

Maryland Icebreaking Fleet Readies for Winter

Newest Vessel in Service Gets National Recognition

Photo of large boat in a marina slip

The M/V Eddie Somers seen shortly after its arrival at Somers Cove Marina, its home base, in May 2022. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is ready to clear paths on Maryland’s waterways this winter with icebreaking boats stationed around the Chesapeake Bay.

DNR’s Hydrographic Operations team, based on the Eastern Shore, has four large boats that perform various duties throughout the Chesapeake Bay, including driving through ice sheets on the water’s surface to allow navigation. The department’s boats are shallow draft, meaning they can get into rivers and shallow areas of the Bay. Read more…

Maryland Deer Harvest Up 10% in 2022 Firearm Season

Hunters Take 29,124 Deer During Two-Week Season

Photo of deer in the woods

Photo by Ranger Elena Gilroy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters harvested 29,124 deer during the two-week firearms season from Nov. 26 through Dec. 10. The firearms season harvest was 10% higher than last year’s official count of 26,584.  Read more…

Nominations Accepted for 2023 Sport Fisheries Achievement Award

Recognition for Conservation, Education, and Sportsmanship

Photo of an award plaque

The plaque with names of award winners as seen at the 2022 presentation ceremony. Photo by Anthony Burrows, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission are seeking nominations for the annual Maryland Sport Fisheries Achievement Award, a celebration of conservation, education, and sportsmanship. This prestigious honor recognizes an individual who has provided sustained efforts in habitat management, conservation, education, research, or other meaningful contributions that benefit fish and recreational fishing in Maryland.  Read more…

Maryland First Day Hikes to Welcome 2023

Ranger-led and Self-guided Hikes Available Across Maryland

Photo of two people next to a First Day Hike sign on a trail

First Day Hike at Patapsco Valley State Park, 2022. Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites all Marylanders to take a First Day Hike —Maryland’s annual tradition for a fun, healthy way to welcome the New Year.  

Maryland State Parks will be offering First Weekend hike opportunities across the state from December 31, 2022 – January 2, 2023. First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks that encourages all 50 states to offer outdoor hiking opportunities to kick off the year. Read more…

Maryland Natural Resources Police Report — Summer-Fall

Photo of police boat on the water

Photo by Lauren Moses, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) this summer and fall issued citations for various violations of Maryland conservation laws including blue crab poaching, oyster harvesting violations, false deer harvest reports, hunting without permission, and others. Read more…

Groundbreaking Wild Turkey Research Set to Begin in Maryland

Citizens Encouraged to Help by Reporting Winter Flock Sightings

Photo of wild turkeys in a field

Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

This winter, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is kicking off the first comprehensive study of wild turkeys ever conducted in the state. The 3-year research project aims to answer many questions about factors potentially impacting turkey populations.  Read more…

Cold-Stunning Threatens Aquatic Wildlife – Marylanders Asked to Help

Lethargic Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals Should Be Reported

Photo of dolphins swimming

Dolphins in the Miles River. Photo by Steve Aprile, submitted to the 2013 Maryland DNR Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources asks visitors to the Chesapeake Bay to be vigilant for marine mammals or sea turtles who show signs of cold-stunning or hypothermia.

Cold stunning occurs in late autumn and early winter when the Bay’s water temperatures start to fall. The cold water can cause immediate impacts making some species become slow and unresponsive, making them dangerous to themselves and boaters. Read more…

Maryland DNR Announces 2022 Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

Local Departments Get Funding to Enhance Wildfire Protection

Photo of brush on fire

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Service announced the awarding of Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants to 53 volunteer fire departments in 15 counties across the state. The projects to be funded help volunteer fire companies enhance their wildland fire protection in rural communities. Read more…

DNR Sponsors National Archery In The Schools Program in Maryland

In-School Program Supplements Educational Outreach

Students in a gymnasium shoot arrows at targets

Students participate in a National Archery in the Schools Program in Frederick. Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) will once again be sponsored by the department’s Wildlife and Heritage Service. This in-school offering will be an integral part of the department’s larger educational programming and its Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) program.  Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – Early Winter

Photo of man fishing in a river during the winter

Photo by Matt Sell

Winter is knocking and those who can dress warm have many fishing opportunities to indulge in through the season. The preseason stocking of trout is occurring, and fishing for tautog off Ocean City is good.

Many other species are available in waters across our state – check the online Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for more information. 

Read more…

Atlantic Population Canada Goose Season Begins Dec. 17

Split Season Ends Jan. 2, Resumes Jan. 13

Photo of goose making a splash landing in water

Photo by Vinod Thomas, submitted to the 2019 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that Maryland’s Atlantic Population Canada goose hunting season opens Saturday, Dec. 17. The season contains two segments, Dec. 17 through Jan. 2, 2023, and again from Jan. 13 through Jan. 31, 2023. (Please note these dates are corrected from a previous announcement.) 

The daily bag limit is one goose per day in Maryland’s AP Canada Goose Hunting Zone. The possession limit for all migratory game birds is three times the daily bag limit.  More information on waterfowl seasons, regulations and license requirements, is available on the DNR website Read more…

Winter Trout Stocking Begins in Maryland Waters

‘Preseason’ Stocking to Make Room at Hatcheries

Photo of man throwing trout from a bucket into a stream

Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has begun stocking more than 300,000 trout in Maryland waters. This early “preseason” stocking of a few fish in impoundments will be done to reduce density at DNR’s hatcheries and create available space outdoors for young trout to grow.

The annual stocking program will be completed in three bursts – preseason from now through February 2023, and then two rounds of spring stocking, March 6–24. and April 3–28. All stocked locations that fall under a closure period will be announced prior to opening day on March 25, 2023.  Read more…

Maryland Fifth Graders Invited to Submit Arbor Day Posters for 2023

Annual Contest Taking Submissions until January 20, 2023

Image of poster with trees and Maryland flag, with the words Trees are Terrific and Maryland Forests Are Too

Camden Steiner of Harford County won first place honors in the 2022 Arbor Day Poster Contest, with a prize of 15 trees to his school for planting.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Forest Conservancy District Boards invite all Maryland fifth graders in private and public schools to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest.

The theme for 2023 is: “Trees Are Terrific…and Cool our Communities!”

All entries must be delivered to a local Maryland Forest Service office by noon, Jan. 20, 2023. Read more…

DNR Dedicates Hiking and Biking Loop to Late Public Servant

Steve Kreseski of Baltimore was an Avid Bicyclist

Photo of people unveiling a sign along a wooded trail

Family, friends, and state officials dedicate the Steve Kreseski Trail at North Point State Park. Maryland DNR photo.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has dedicated a half-mile trail loop at North Point State Park in honor of a former public servant and avid bicyclist, Steven L. Kreseski. 

A native and resident of Baltimore City, Kreseski served three years as chief of staff for former Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. and was his legislative director on Capitol Hill from 1995 to 2003. Kreseski passed away in 2015 at the age of 58 from pulmonary fibrosis, a hereditary lung disease.  Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – December 7

Photo of many holding a keeper sized striped bass

Photo by Travis Long

The Maryland Chesapeake Bay striped bass season closes at the end of the day on Saturday, December 10, after which striped bass fishing in the Bay and its tributaries will be limited to catch and release. The main stem of the tidal Potomac River will be open to striped bass fishing until December 31, with a two fish per day limit if the fish measure over 20 inches. Fishing in the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Coastal Bays remains open, with a 28-inch minimum.

A wide range of other opportunities continues, including catfish and various freshwater species, including some additional trout stocking in December.

Read more…

Secretary’s Message – December 2022

Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New with Outdoor Traditions

Photo of several people walking along a wooded trail

Hiking at Sideling Hill State Park, photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House

Maryland State Parks will again mark the new year by offering hike opportunities from December 30, 2022 through January 2, 2023. First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks that encourages all 50 states to offer outdoor hiking opportunities to start the new year. They are a great way to start the new year!

And we continue to expand Maryland’s network of public lands. Last month, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford joined us to announce the opening of Sideling Hill Creek State Park, located in Allegany County. This new 865-acre park is located near the Woodmont Natural Resources Management Area, Sideling Hill Wildlife Management Area, and the Western Maryland Rail Trail giving visitors a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities in one region. Read more…

Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Resumes Dec. 17

Traditional Season Offers Outdoor Holiday Retreat

Photo of buck in the woods

Photo by Ryan Deangler, submitted to the Maryland DNR 2022 Photo Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the muzzleloader deer hunting season will reopen Dec. 17, and will run through Dec. 31, 2022. This is the second half of Maryland’s split deer muzzleloader season; the first half was held in October. Hunters may use muzzleloading firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this time. Read more…

Strong Opening Weekend for Maryland Deer Firearm Season

Mixed Weather Still Yields Success for Many Hunters

Photo of large buck in a field next to a tree

Photo by Steve Edwards, submitted to 2018 Maryland DNR Photo Contest.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported 10,116 deer taken on the opening weekend of the 2022 Maryland firearm season, Nov. 26-27. Despite bad weather on Sunday, the overall harvest was just 3% lower than last year’s official opening weekend harvest of 10,446 deer. 

The harvest total included 5,090 antlered and 4,697 antlerless white-tailed deer, and 162 antlered and 167 antlerless sika deer. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 10. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – November 30

Photo of man at a riverbank holding a large fish

Largemouth bass, photo by Nathan Fernandez

If you dress warmly there are plenty of fishing opportunities this week. There is good fishing for striped bass along with freshwater species like largemouth bass. Offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, fishing for sea bass is excellent with everyone onboard catching a limit.

Read more…

2023-2024 Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest Winner Announced

Second-time Winner Takes 49th Annual Competition

Painted image of three American wigeons in marshy area

“Marsh Buddies,” painting by Gerry Putt. Maryland Department of Natural Resources image.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce that Gerry Putt won this year’s Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest. Putt of Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, won the 49th annual contest with his stunning painting of three American wigeons, titled “Marsh Buddies.” Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – November 23

Photo of woman holding a black sea bass

Photo by Monty Hawkins

Everyone at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources wishes you a pleasant and warm Thanksgiving holiday. More than a few anglers will slip out for a little fishing before the big celebration or on the weekend. There are plenty of exciting fishing opportunities out there this week.

Read more…

DNR Accepting Recipes for Wild Maryland: The Holiday Edition

Marylanders Encouraged to Submit Holiday Recipes Featuring Foods Fished, Foraged, and Hunted

Photo of roasted goose on a plate with other foods

Roast Goose with Dumplings by Gabrielle Perret, from the Wild Maryland online cookbook. Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is once again putting out a call to all wildlife and cooking enthusiasts to submit their favorite recipes for its Wild Maryland online cookbook, this time for the holiday season. 

The department encourages Maryland’s hunters, anglers, and foragers to submit their best holiday recipes, along with photos of their dishes, featuring Maryland species.  Read more…

Words from the Winning Photographers of the 2022 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest

Jumping Spider by David TeraoWe are so pleased to present to you the 2022 winning entries of the Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest, with some words from the photographers who captured these images. This year’s contest received nearly 2,500 photos submitted by 500 photographers. The contest is judged by a team of department experts in both visual arts and natural sciences, based on technical skill, aesthetic merit, and representation of the natural world. Three winning works are chosen for each season. From among the seasonal winners, one photo is selected as the Grand Prize winner. Read more…

A Hunter’s Story: A Hard Lesson in Tree Stand Safety

I was bleeding from my head and lying on the ground under my tree stand, unsure how I got there. Somehow, in my state of confusion, I fumbled for my phone and managed to tell my neighbor that I’d fallen from my stand. He found me on my back on top of my fallen aluminum ladder, blood drippiPhoto of man setting up tree standng to the ground.

I recall only a few scattered snippets of the next three or four hours, with no recollection of an ambulance ride to the emergency room and numerous CT-scans being taken of my entire body. Read more…

Harriet Tubman: The Ultimate Outdoorswoman

Harriet Tubman bust with a birthday bouquet

Harriet Tubman bust with a birthday bouquet by Ranger Angela Crenshaw

Harriet Tubman had many roles in her 91 years of life. She was most notably a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a nurse, scout, cook, and spy during the Civil War. But she was also a consummate caretaker, an attentive daughter, a devoted aunt, a thoughtful wife, a loving mother and of course a friend. As a young, enslaved girl in the swampy wetlands and upland forests of Dorchester County, Harriet Tubman learned to navigate inhospitable terrain, mimic the sounds of birds, trap animals, and utilize plants for both medicine and food–the ultimate outdoorswoman. Read more…

Rutherford’s Travels

Lt. Governor Rutherford at Hart Miller Island State Park

Lt. Governor Rutherford at Hart Miller Island State Park

In late 2018, I read a newspaper article where Virignia’s then-governor, Terry McAuliffe, stated that his goal was to visit every park in his Commonwealth during his tenure as governor. I never found out if he actually completed his mission, but the idea caught my attention.

I was already planning to participate in Maryland State Parks’ annual “First Day Hike” on New Year’s Day 2019. That hike would eventually serve as the launch of my State Park Bucket List campaign, in which I officially set my own goal to visit every property managed by the Maryland Park Service during my four remaining years in office. My hope was to use this effort to open Marylanders’ eyes to the natural beauty of our state, and encourage everyone to lace up their boots and get outside to enjoy what our public lands have to offer. Read more…

Tools of the Trade: the Smartphone Camera

Photo of calligrapher fly

Photo of maize calligrapher fly taken with a smartphone camera by Edwin Guevara

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer

These days, most of us have a high-tech scientific instrument on hand at all times. Can you guess what it is?

The smartphone camera has revolutionized research and data collection in the field, lab, and classroom. New applications for high-powered cameras emerge daily. Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologists use these cameras to conduct their own field research. You can follow their lead, using your selfie-capturing devices to explore the world outside in a new and different way! Read more…

Outside Perspective

Photo of DNR Secretary, Lt. Governor Rutherford, and park rangers at St. Clements State Park

Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and Lt. Governor Rutherford at St. Clements State Park

Congratulations to Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, who completed his State Park Bucket List challenge, having officially visited all 75 Maryland Park Service properties with his October visit to St. Clement’s Island State Park in St. Mary’s County. We are grateful for his leadership in highlighting the importance of our public lands and outdoor recreation! Read more…

Marylanders Reminded to Hire Licensed Tree Experts

Make Sure Work is Legal, Safe, and Insured

Photo of worker climbing a treeNow that leaves are fallen, many Marylanders will prepare for winter by trimming live trees or removing dead trees. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has a few important suggestions that homeowners should follow before hiring a contractor to do the work. Read more…

Fall Foliage Report – November 17, 2022

Fall colors across a mountain range in Western Maryland

Western Maryland the week of October 13 – Photo by Melissa Nash

Read more…

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