Archery hunting for deer opens September 7, 2012 and continues through January 31, 2013.
“Archery hunting continues to be an effective part of our deer management plan in Maryland,” said DNR Deer Project Leader Brian Eyler. “Archers using both vertical bows and crossbows now account for over 25 percent of the total annual deer harvest in the State.”
New this year, there is a statewide bag limit for antlered white-tailed deer. The statewide bag limit is three antlered deer. One antlered deer may be taken in each of the weapon seasons in Regions A and B combined.
“That means, one antlered deer in archery season, one in muzzleloader season and one in modern firearms season, with a bonus antlered deer available for hunters in Region B only,” said Eyler.
Region A consists of Garrett and Allegany counties and the western half of Washington County, while Region B includes eastern Washington County and the remaining 20 counties.
In Region B, the bonus antlered deer may be taken in any one of the weapon seasons. However, before taking a bonus antlered deer, hunters must first purchase a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp and harvest two antlerless deer during any weapon season in Region B.
Sika deer archery season is open from September 7, 2012 through January 31, 2013 in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The sika deer archery bag limit is two deer with no more than one being antlered. An antlered sika deer is defined as a deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.
Hunters should consider deer taken with a straight limb bow, recurve bow or compound bow as taken with a vertical bow when checking-in a deer taken with archery equipment,. Deer taken with a crossbow should be recorded as such. This will allow DNR biologists to continue to monitor the influence crossbows are having on Maryland’s deer harvest.
A number of Sundays will be open to bow hunting on private land during the 2012-2013 hunting season, varying by county. Please refer to the 2012-2013 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping or visit DNR online for a complete listing of Sunday bow hunting opportunities.
Hunters are urged to carefully inspect all tree stands before using them. A full-body safety harness should be used while climbing into or out of a tree stand and while in the stand. DNR 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. Visit the DNR Website to see more information on tree stand safety and view a helpful video at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/ts.asp
Complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and bow hunting regulations can be found on the DNR website, www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide. The 2012-2013 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping issued with each hunting license also contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.
Deer hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) program. The program enables hunters to take deer to cooperating butchers and processors where they can donate them free of charge. The deer are processed and the venison is made available to local food banks. Last year over 600,000 venison meals were provided to food banks and feeding programs through FHFH. Additional information is available at www.fhfh.org.