Hunters reported harvesting 13,488 deer on the opening weekend of the 2016 Maryland firearm season, the state’s most popular hunting season. The harvest represents a 24 percent increase over last year’s estimate of 10,859 for the same period. The total includes 6,159 antlered and 7,329 antlerless deer with sika deer comprising 224 of the antlered and 232 of the antlerless totals. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 10.
“Windy conditions Saturday may have slowed the harvest slightly, but hunters took advantage of better weather conditions Sunday to post a strong overall harvest for the opening weekend,” said Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto.
Hunters in Region A – mainly western Maryland – reported harvesting 1,110 deer for the weekend, nearly identical to the 1,147 reported last year. In Region B, the antlered deer harvest increased from 3,878 last year to 5,049 this year and the antlerless harvest increased from 5,834 to 7,329 in 2016.
Deer hunters harvested 3,560 deer (1,455 antlered, 2,105 antlerless) Sunday, an increase of 1,146 from last year. Hunting is permitted on select Sundays in 20 counties and has become increasingly popular with hunters across the state. Frederick County led the Sunday harvest with 390 deer taken.
“Sunday hunting continues to afford hunters with more opportunities to share time with family and friends out in the fields and woods,” Peditto said. “This additional harvest day clearly provides a valuable tool in managing our statewide deer population for the benefit of all.”
Those hunters who use tree stands are strongly advised to wear a full-body safety harness, which should be secured at all times, including while climbing up or down the stand. Using a sliding knot, commonly known as a prussic knot, attached to a line that is tied above the stand allows hunters to be secure from when they leave the ground to their return.