The Maryland Department of Natural Resources encourages experienced deer hunters to introduce youth to the time-honored cultural and sporting tradition of deer hunting during two Junior Deer Hunting Days in November.
The hunts will be held Nov. 16, on private and designated public land in all counties, and Nov. 17 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George’s. In Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties, the hunt is also open on designated public lands Nov. 17.
“The Junior Deer Hunt is very popular with our youth hunters and it’s an exciting time of year,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Deer tend to be very active during this weekend since it is the rut. It also provides adult mentors the opportunity to pass on the skills and traditions of hunting and shooting sports.”
Hunters 16 years of age or younger who possess a valid license may use air guns or firearms 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 archery, firearm, or muzzleloader bag limits. They are also exempt from the antler point restriction.
Season dates, bag limits, hunting regulations, and registration procedures can be found in the Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping.
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 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.