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.