Deer hunting season opens Saturday

mbrockett@capgaznews.com
The state's firearm deer season will run through Dec. 10.

Maryland's most popular hunting season begins Saturday.

The state's firearm deer season, when hunters are permitted to use firearms to hunt sika and white-tailed deer, will run through Dec. 10, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said.

Sika deer season is open in all counties this year, the department said.

The statewide bag limit per hunter is one antlered white-tailed deer and three sika deer, of which no more than one may be antlered.

In Anne Arundel County, and most of the state, the bag limit for antlerless white-tailed deer is 10. Hunters may harvest one bonus antlered white-tailed deer during aweapon season of their choice after certain conditions are met, including the purchase of a Bonus Antlered Deer stamp through the DNR. The stamp costs $10 for Maryland residents.

Last season was a relatively slow one for deer hunters in Maryland, thanks in part to warm weather, an abundance of acorns in some areas and fewer deer overall, the DNR said in its 2015-2016 Maryland Annual Deer Report.

The deer harvest last season was down by about 3 percent compared the season prior at 84,022 deer, the DNR said. It was about 10 percent below the previous five-year average.

Though the total harvest was down last season, the buck harvest increased, hinting there were more deer present than the harvest indicated, the DNR report said.

While the whitetail antlerless deer harvest dipped by about 8 percent, the whitetail antlered harvest grew by about 6 percent, according to the report.

For more information on deer season in Maryland, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife.

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