A 546-acre deer hunting area that opened in Anne Arundel County shortly after Thanksgiving and will close at the end of January has seen only seven deer taken so far, according to the deer project leader for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

But the small number of deer killed by hunters at the Crownsville Cooperative Wildlife Management Area doesn't surprise Brian Eyler.

"It normally takes a year or two for new areas to catch on," Eyler said.

The hunting area in Crownsville opened Nov. 26, two days after the start of the deer firearm season, and will close when the bowhunting season ends Jan. 31. Deer hunting only is permitted there, and the program will follow the guidelines for bag limits in the 2012-2013 Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland.

The Crownsville Cooperative Wildlife Management Area is part of a new program that, according to the DNR, is "designed to provide managed-access to the site through a partnership with DNR and Anne Arundel County Parks."

The area was acquired by the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks in 2009. As a condition of the sale, the Maryland Board of Public Works required the land be used for wildlife management.

Those looking to hunt deer at the Crownsville Cooperative Wildlife Management Area should have season permit and daily reservations. The Crownsville CWMA is the first managed area added in a number of years, Eyler said.

Asked if the DNR is planning on adding any more areas similar to Crownsville, Eyler said none are currently being planned, but he is confident others will be designed in the future.

"We are always looking for more opportunities to open lands for deer hunting to help us control the population," Eyler said.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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