Early Muzzleloader Deer Season Opens In October
ANNAPOLIS -- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces that Maryland’s Muzzleloader Deer Season opens in October. Several amendments have been made regarding early muzzleloader deer season.
Two Deer Management Regions have replaced the four regions (Regions A, B, C, D) established in 1998. Region A now consists of Allegany and Garrett counties. Region B now includes the remaining Maryland counties.
Region A’s Total Muzzleloader Season bag limit is 2 white-tailed deer and no more than 1 deer can be antlered. The Region A October Muzzleloader Season contains two segments: October 21 – 23, 2004; October 28 – 30, 2004 (on private lands only).
On Region A private lands, the bag limit is 1 antlered or antlerless deer for the October 21 – 23 segment. Only antlerless deer may be taken during the October 28 – 30 private land segment. If no deer was taken during the October 21 – 23 segment, two antlerless deer may be taken on private lands during the October 28 – 30 segment.
On Region A’s public lands, the bag limit is 1 antlered deer for the October 21 – 23 segment. Region A public lands are closed during the October 28 – 30 antlerless only muzzleloader deer season.
Region B’s Total Muzzleloader Deer Season bag limit is 2 antlered white-tailed deer and 10 white-tailed antlerless deer. Only 1 antlered deer may be taken during the October 21 – 23 muzzleloader season segment. Only antlerless deer may be taken with a muzzleloader from October 25 through October 30. Muzzleloader hunters may take up to 10 antlerless deer combined for the October segments.
The sika deer muzzleloader season is open in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties during October 21 – 23. The sika deer bag limit is 1 sika deer, antlered or antlerless. An antlered sika deer is a deer with at least 1 antler visible above the hairline. Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties are closed for sika deer hunting during the October 25 – 30 muzzleloader season segment.
Bow hunters are reminded that bow deer season is closed during the October 21 – 23 segment. Bow hunters may hunt with a bow on these days, but any deer taken with a bow must be checked against their muzzleloader bag limit. Bow hunters must possess a muzzleloader stamp if they choose to hunt with a bow on October 21 – 23.
Bow season remains open during the antlerless only muzzleloader hunting segments (October 28 – 30 in Region A and October 25 – 30 in Region B). Bow hunters must check any deer taken during these dates against the bow bag limit.
The 2003 top ten Maryland counties for total muzzleloader deer harvest were as follows: Frederick (2034); Washington (1786); Garrett (1496); Allegany (1337); Baltimore (1250); Dorchester (1033); Kent (890); Montgomery (871); Carroll (809); Harford (797).
Maryland’s Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Season is one component of DNR’s deer management project. Muzzleloader deer hunting, combined with archery and firearm deer hunting, manages white-tailed deer and sika deer populations, provides outdoor recreation for over 80,000 Maryland citizens and contributes over $150 million to the state’s economy.
Complete bag limits, season dates and other deer hunting information can be found at the DNR website www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide.
The Hunting & Trapping In Maryland 2004-2005 guide, issued with each hunting license, contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.