News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Finalizes Proposed Hunting And Trapping Regulations

Annapolis, MD (March 26, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service has finalized the hunting and trapping season and bag limit regulation proposals for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. Opportunities for the public to comment on the proposals began in February and included a stakeholder meeting, two public meetings and the increasingly popular internet forum.

“We are very pleased with the outstanding level of thoughtful input we received during all aspects of the public comment period,” said Pete Jayne, DNR Associate Director for Game Management. “It’s always productive for us to hear from so many passionate supporters of Maryland’s rich wildlife resources. Overall we received more than 450 comments on the proposals via two public meetings, emails, letters, phone calls and the online forum.”

DNR initially met with a group of key stakeholders, including hunters, trappers, chasers, non-hunters, media and even representation from those opposed to hunting and trapping. Once that process was completed, the proposals were presented for broader public input. The proposal process concluded last week when the Wildlife Advisory Commission approved all but two of the proposed regulation changes. The proposals will now move to the final regulatory phase.

The final proposed regulations are summarized below.

Crossbow Use – DNR will allow crossbows to be used to hunt any game species during any open season where a vertical bow may be used (excluding waterfowl and certain furbearers). This proposal would permit the use of a crossbow during the entire deer bow season in all counties.

Bobwhite Quail – On public land, DNR will shorten the season to end on January 15 and reduce the bag limit from six to three quail per day. No changes were made for private lands.

Wild Turkeys – DNR will extend hunting hours until sunset for the last two weeks of the spring turkey season and on the Junior Hunt day, statewide. Separate bag limits will be created for the fall and spring turkey seasons. The new bag limit would be one either-sex bird in the fall season and two bearded birds in the spring. NOTE: The extended hunting hours will not be in effect until the 2011 Spring Turkey Season. Shooting hours will end at noon for the 2010 Junior Turkey Hunt and the 2010 Spring Turkey Season. Just a reminder, there are no Sundays open to turkey hunting in 2010.

White-tailed Deer - Region A boundary will be moved into Washington County to include the portion of the county west of Clear Spring and Big Spring.

Sika Deer – The bag limit will be changed to two sika deer and one antlered deer for each season (bow, muzzleloader and firearm). Also, sika deer can now be taken during the antlerless-only early muzzleloader season and during the two day January firearm season.

Raccoons – The season will be extended to close with the muskrat season (March 15) in counties where this currently does not already occur.

The Wildlife Advisory Commission did not approve two of the regulation proposals. The proposal to extend the bow season to open on September 5 was not approved and has been withdrawn by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. Likewise, a proposal to extend fox season for shooting-only was also withdrawn after not being approved by the commission.

The final proposed seasons and bag limits for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 may be viewed at:

   March 26, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at