As deer season ends in Maryland, DNR says harvest was down

18 December 2023- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters harvested 28,236 deer during the two-week firearm season from Nov. 25 through Dec. 9. The firearms season harvest was 3% lower than last year’s official count of 29,160 deer.

“Firearm hunting for deer continues to be our most popular season,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Karina Stonesifer said. “The season enables many hunters to put much needed venison in the freezer and it helps significantly with managing the state’s deer population.”

Hunters reported taking 12,002 antlered deer during the two-week season, which was similar to last year’s official total of 12,018. The antlerless harvest decreased 5% from 17,142 last year to 16,234 this year. Sika deer represented 501 of the total antlered harvest and 589 of the total antlerless harvest and was up 12% overall.

More than 2,700 deer were taken on the two Sundays during the season, representing nearly 10% of the total harvest. Deer hunting on Sunday is currently permitted on select Sundays in 20 of 23 counties.

Hunters in Region A — Allegany, Garrett, and western Washington counties — reported taking 2,564 antlered and 1,414 antlerless deer (down 3% and 8%, respectively). In the remainder of the state, hunters reported taking 9,438 antlered and 14,820 antlerless deer. The antlered harvest increased 1% while the antlerless harvest decreased 5%.

Modern firearm deer season opens again on January 5, 2024, in deer management region B. Maryland’s muzzleloader deer hunting season will reopen Dec. 16 and run through Dec. 30.

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