The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the two-week firearms hunting season for sika and white-tailed deer opens Saturday and runs through Saturday, Dec. 11.
“The two-week firearms season is our most popular season with deer hunters,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The season traditionally has been a time for hunters to head to hunting camps or otherwise spend time with family and friends enjoying the outdoors. The harvest during this popular season helps significantly with managing the state’s abundant deer population.”
The two week season includes Sunday hunting in all but three counties (Baltimore, Howard and Prince George’s) affording hunters more weekend opportunities to hunt and contribute to managing Maryland’s deer population.
Hunters are reminded that an antler-point restriction remains in effect. Deer hunters may harvest one antlered white-tailed deer within the yearly bag limit that does not meet the requirement of having at least three points on one antler. Any additional antlered deer taken within the established bag limit must meet the minimum point restriction. Licensed junior hunters and apprentice license holders, 16 years of age or younger, are exempt from this restriction.
During firearms season, Maryland requires deer hunters and their companions to wear daylight fluorescent orange or daylight fluorescent pink in one of the following manners: a cap of solid fluorescent daylight orange or pink, a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of fluorescent daylight orange or pink, or an outer garment of camouflage daylight fluorescent orange or pink worn above the waist and containing at least 50 percent daylight fluorescent color.
More information on the firearms season, along with season bag limits and other deer hunting regulations, are available in the 2021-2022 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.
Hunters should carefully inspect all tree stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while in the stand and while climbing in or out. The department strongly recommends using a sliding knot, commonly known as a prusik knot, attached to a line that is secured above the stand that allows the hunter to be safely tethered to the tree as soon as they leave the ground.
Hunters are encouraged to help others by donating deer taken in Maryland. A state tax credit offers hunters an incentive for donated deer. Other local or state programs are also available so please check with your deer processor.