Western MD deer harvest up 21% from 2021-2022 seasons

16 February 2023- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that deer hunters harvested 76,687 deer during the combined archery, firearms, and muzzleloader seasons, from Sept. 9, 2022 through Feb. 3, 2023.

The statewide harvest included 29,682 antlered and 42,872 antlerless white-tailed deer, and 1,908 antlered and 2,225 antlerless sika deer. The harvest was 8% higher than the 2021-2022 total of 70,845 deer. The increased harvest is credited to more participation by hunters and favorable weather.

“Maryland hunters enjoyed another successful deer season,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Deer hunters play a valuable role in managing the state’s deer population.”

Hunters harvested 6,806 deer on Sundays, comprising 9% of the total harvest. Hunting deer on Sunday is only permitted during certain weeks in 20 of Maryland’s 23 counties.

The harvest in deer management Region A (Western Maryland) increased 21%, from 7,929 deer last year to 9,552 this year. Hunters in the western counties reported 5,762 antlered and 3,790 antlerless deer.

Hunters in Region B — the remainder of the state — harvested 67,135 deer, up 7% from 62,916 deer harvested last year. A total of 25,828 antlered and 41,307 antlerless deer were reported in this region.

An outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) on the lower Eastern Shore, primarily in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties, caused a decrease in the harvest there this year. EHD occurs annually in Maryland deer and does not have long-lasting effects for the deer population, nor is it harmful to humans.

Frederick County had the highest reported harvest again this year, with 6,935 deer reported. Carroll County followed with 5,785 deer, and Garrett County was third with 4,989. Baltimore and Washington counties rounded out the top five with 4,846 and 4,600 deer, respectively.