Proposed Wildlife Regulations

Proposed Wildlife Regulations

This is a summary of regulation proposals submitted by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. Consult the Maryland Register, Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), and the Natural Resources Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland for full legal text.

Wildlife and Heritage Service welcomes public comment on proposed regulations. However, only comments provided during the official public comment period specified in the appropriate Maryland Register announcement become part of the official regulatory record. The official public comment period is 30 days after publication of the proposed regulation in the Maryland Register. Receiving comments on the proposal provides the Department with invaluable information and perspectives on the views of the public regarding the proposed regulation that may be incorporated into content or editorial changes. The Maryland Register notice will provide contact information where all official public comments may be sent.

Interpreting proposed regulations requires some understanding of the convention for reading proposed regulation changes as developed by the Department of State Documents. The convention is as follows:

  • Roman type indicates existing text of the regulation.
  • Italic type indicates proposed new text.
  • [Single brackets] indicate text proposed for deletion.
  • (text unchanged) indicates none of the text for that section is proposed to be changed.

2017 Regulation Proposals

General – Definitions of Air Gun
COMAR 08.03.01.01

Published in the Maryland Register: July 7, 2017
Public Comment Period Ends: August 7, 2017
Scheduled Effective Date: September 11, 2017

Click here to view the proposal.

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Peter Jayne at 410-827-8612 (phone), 410-827-5186 (fax) or peter.jayne@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to define the term “air gun” which became a legal weapon to use during the 2016-2017 hunting seasons. Air guns may be used to hunt deer during the firearms season. Air guns may also be used to hunt black bear, upland game birds and mammals, furbearers, and wild turkeys during the spring and winter seasons but only with an air gun propelling an arrow. This amendment will allow the Department to better inform citizens on when an air gun may be used for hunting and for which species and in which seasons. The change is also intended to keep hunting regulations current and promote the safe use of new hunting devices as they become available.


Use of Wildlife Areas
COMAR 08.03.02.28

Published in the Maryland Register: July 7, 2017
Public Comment Period Ends: August 7, 2017
Scheduled Effective Date: September 11, 2017

Click here to view the proposal.

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 301-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to clarify when the Fairmount Wildlife Management Area impoundments will be open to waterfowl hunting when Christmas day and New Years day occur on a Sunday. This impoundment is usually open for hunting on Christmas and New Years, except there is no Sunday waterfowl hunting allowed by law. The proposed amendment will open the impoundment on the following Monday. The amendment will also change the hours for which hunters may use the Fairmount and Deal Island Wildlife Management Area impoundments for hunting.


Open Seasons, Bag Limits for Game Birds and Game Animals
COMAR 08.03.03.01 and .05

Published in the Maryland Register: July 7, 2017
Public Comment Period Ends: August 7, 2017
Scheduled Effective Date: September 11, 2017

Click here to view the proposal.

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Peter Jayne at 410-827-8612 (phone), 410-827-5186 (fax) or peter.jayne@maryland.gov..

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to comply with legislation passed during the 2017 General Assembly. Regulation .01 will increase the number of Sundays open to deer hunting in Kent and Montgomery counties. This regulation will also restrict the shooting hours for certain deer hunting dates in Kent and Montgomery counties as required by legislation. Kent County is added to the list of counties that permit Sunday hunting during the spring turkey season. Regulation .05 will remove the prohibition for nonresidents to trap beavers and otters.


Forest Wildlife
COMAR 08.03.04.02,.03,.05, and .23

Published in the Maryland Register: July 7, 2017
Public Comment Period Ends: August 7, 2017
Scheduled Effective Date: September 11, 2017

Click here to view the proposal

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Peter Jayne at 410-827-8612 (phone), 410-827-5186 (fax) or peter.jayne@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to comply with legislation passed during the 2017 General Assembly. Amendments to Regulation .02 adds Deer Management Permit holders (i.e. Permittees) to the list of persons that shall wear fluorescent orange clothing in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §10-418(b), Annotated Code of Maryland when shooting under the authority of a deer management permit. Amendments to Regulation .03 are to broaden the means by which an individual killing a deer or turkey may report the kill to the Department. Amendments to Regulation .23 remove the exemption from wearing fluorescent orange clothing for a person hunting certain wildlife on that person’s property.

In addition to the regulation amendments as a result of recently enacted legislation, amendments to Regulation .05 will add air guns to the hunting devices that may not be carried by a person hunting deer with a bow during the deer bow hunting season. The change is intended to keep hunting regulations current with new hunting devices as they are made legal for use in Maryland.