The Maryland Department of Natural Resources encourages experienced deer hunters to introduce youth to the time-honored cultural and sporting tradition this month during two Junior Deer Hunting Days.
The hunt will be held Nov. 11 on private and public land in all counties, and Nov. 12 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard and Prince George’s. In Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, the hunt is also open on designated public lands Nov. 12.
“These days are dedicated to fostering young people in the skills and traditions of hunting, and promoting an appreciation of our natural environment and resources,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “They provide an opportunity for experienced hunters to pass on the knowledge, skills and traits required for effective, enjoyable and safe hunting.”
Hunters 16 years of age or younger who possess a valid license may use firearms or air guns that meet department standards to hunt sika and white-tailed deer on these days. Youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old, who holds a valid hunting license. Adults may not possess a hunting device while accompanying a junior hunter, but may participate in other open seasons if they are not acting as a mentor.
The bag limits for the Junior Deer Hunt Days are:
One antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer in Region A;
Three white-tailed deer in Region B, with no more than one antlered; and
One antlered or one antlerless sika deer.
Deer taken by youth hunters during the two days do not count toward the regular bow, firearm or muzzleloader bag limits. They are also exempt from the antler point restriction.
New this year, the Apprentice Hunting License Program allows first-time hunters a lower-cost opportunity to explore the sport with an experienced and licensed guide and mentor.
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 prussic 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.