Maryland DNR Celebrates 10 Years Of Junior Deer Hunts
ANNAPOLIS -- November 13 is the 10th Maryland Junior Deer Hunt. Hunters 16 years of age and younger who are accompanied by an unarmed licensed adult of at least 21 years of age can hunt white-tailed deer and sika deer.
Marylandís Department of Natural Resources (DNR) began Junior Deer Hunt Day ten years ago. This day provides an opportunity for experienced adult deer hunters to pass on the knowledge required to be a safe, effective and ethical deer hunter.
Deer hunting is a strenuous outdoor recreational activity that requires many skills. Deer hunters must understand white-tailed deer and sika deer biology and behavior. Deer hunters must be skilled marksman and follow safe firearm handling techniques. Successful deer hunters must understand deer anatomy so that the harvested deer can be properly dressed and the meat made ready for the kitchen. These skills, techniques and conservation ethic have all been passed down through generations of deer hunters.
All young hunters participating in the 10th Maryland Junior Deer Hunt have passed Marylandís Hunter Education Course. The course includes instruction in the following topics: hunter responsibility; firearms and ammunition; firearm handling and safety; marksmanship and shooting fundamentals; principals of wildlife management; bow hunting; muzzleloader hunting; safety and first aid; water safety; Maryland legal requirements. All youngsters have passed a written Hunter Education test, demonstrated their knowledge during a practical test and live firing.
Maryland DNRís deer management program requires safe, effective and ethical hunters. Hunters skilled in deer hunting techniques, safe firearms handling and marksmanship take thousands of deer each season. Hunting is the most effective method of deer population management. Deer hunters enjoy the challenges of this rigorous outdoor recreation. DNR depends on the thousands of deer hunters, who through their recreation provide deer management across the state.
All young deer hunters must be accompanied in the field by an adult at least 21 years of age who possesses a valid Maryland hunting license, or is exempt from Maryland hunting license requirements. The adult may not be armed with a firearm, bow or any other hunting device.
Each young hunter may take one antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer in Deer Management Region A. In Region B, the hunter may take up to 3 white-tailed deer with no more than 1 being antlered. Each young hunter may take 1 antlered or antlerless sika deer in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico or Worcester counties.
Ten years ago Maryland youth hunters bagged 1028 deer. Last season junior deer hunters took 2470 deer, an increase of 140 percent. The ten top counties for 2003 were as follows: Garrett (400); Washington (282); Allegany (235); Frederick (190); Carroll (179); Worcester (148); Wicomico (134); Dorchester (91); Cecil (91); Somerset (82).
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 Marylandís hunting seasons.