Maryland hunters have killed considerably more turkeys and deer than this time last year because of better conditions, the Department of Natural Resources said late last week.
Hunters completed the early portions of the archery and muzzleloader deer seasons by harvesting 28,023 deer during September and October — 26 percent higher than last year's below-average harvest of 22,283 for the period.
Last year's low harvest was attributable to an abundant acorn crop, which resulted in deer moving less in search of food, the DNR said.
Compared with last year, the antlered harvest increased 14 percent from 7,552 deer to 8,588, and the antlerless harvest rose 32 percent from 14,731 to 19,435 deer. Included in the totals were 453 antlered and 477 antlerless sika deer.
The two-month harvest includes 15,436 deer taken during the archery season (9,780 with vertical bows and 5,656 taken with crossbows), and 12,375 deer harvested during the October muzzleloader season. An additional 212 deer were killed during managed deer hunts.
Turkey hunters reported harvesting 157 wild turkeys during the one-week fall season that ended Nov. 2.
The harvest was slightly below the 10-year average but was 41 percent higher than in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy curtailed hunting.
Fall turkey hunting — permitted only in the three westernmost counties — resulted in Garrett County reporting the highest harvest with 59 turkeys, followed by Allegany with 56, and Washington with 42.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun