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Maryland Muzzleloader Season for Deer Reopens Dec. 21

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the second segment of the muzzleloader deer hunting season will open Dec. 21 and run through Jan. 4, 2020. Hunters may use muzzleloading firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this season.

“The late muzzleloader season occurs when hunters can enjoy cooler temperatures and time in the field with friends and family during the holiday season,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The season is important to the state’s deer management program and for reaching our deer harvest objectives.”

Hunters are encouraged to consult the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping for information on bag limits, registration procedures, and other regulations.

During muzzleloader season, Maryland requires deer hunters and their companions to wear daylight fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink in one of the following manners: a solid fluorescent cap, a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of fluorescent, or an outer garment of camouflage fluorescent worn above the waist and containing at least 50 percent fluorescent color.

Hunters should carefully inspect all tree-stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while in the stand or climbing in or out. The department strongly recommends using a sliding knot, commonly known as a prusik 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.

Maryland hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Hunters are reminded that they may claim a tax credit of up to $50 for each legally harvested deer that is processed and donated to a nonprofit food sharing program. The maximum credit in any one tax year is $200 per hunter. The approved form to claim this credit is available online.