Early muzzleloader deer season to open Oct. 16

The first segment of Maryland's muzzleloader deer season will open Oct. 16.

The early muzzleloader season will run Oct. 16-18 in Deer Management Regions A and B. Region A consists of Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties (private land codes 250 & 251), and Region B is the rest of the state. Also in Region B, hunters can kill antlerless-only deer Oct. 20-25.

There is a statewide bag limit for antlered deer (bucks) of one per weapon season. Hunters in Region B have the option to take one additional bonus buck after purchasing a bonus antlered deer stamp and killing two antlerless deer. The antlerless bag limits differ between the two deer management regions.

New this year, an antler point restriction mandates that a hunter may not harvest more than two white-tailed deer, within the yearly bag limit, that have two or fewer points on each antler present. Any additional antlered deer taken within the legal seasons and bag limits must have at least three points on one antler. Junior hunting license holders are exempt from the antler point restriction. Also new, hunters in Region A may take only two antlerless deer for the license year.

The early muzzleloader season is open Oct. 16-18 for sika deer of either sex in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties and Oct. 20-25 for antlerless sika deer only. New this year, the sika deer muzzleloader season bag limit has increased to three deer with no more than one being antlered. An antlered sika is defined as a deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.

Complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and hunting regulations can be found on the DNR Wildlife and Heritage website and in the 2014-2015 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping.

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