Deer hunters in Maryland took significantly more deer on the opening weekend of the 2016 firearm season than last year.
Hunters reported harvesting 13,488 deer across the state on Saturday and Sunday, the first days of the two-week firearm season for deer, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported Wednesday. That's up 24 percent from the 10,859 deer culled on the first weekend of the 2015 season.
The weekend was marred by the accidental death of a deer hunter near Frederick. First-time hunter Vincent Cavallo, 32, appears to have slipped or dropped the gun, shooting himself in the head, police said. A hunter from Delaware accidentally shot himself in the leg in Cecil County.
DNR attributed the strong opening to deer season to favorable weather.
"Windy conditions Saturday may have slowed the harvest slightly, but hunters took advantage of better weather conditions Sunday to post a strong overall harvest for the opening weekend," said Paul Peditto, director of DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Service, in a statement.
The Sunday harvest increased by nearly half statewide to 3,560, DNR reported. Sunday hunting remains banned in Baltimore, Howard and Prince George's counties.
"Sunday hunting continues to afford hunters with more opportunities to share time with family and friends out in the fields and woods," Peditto said. "This additional harvest day clearly provides a valuable tool in managing our statewide deer population for the benefit of all."
In the Baltimore region, hunters took 2,633 deer, led by Carroll County where they harvested 1,127 over the weekend.