Maryland deer season

If you’re an avid deer hunter, you’re probably already looking forward to the next season. It’s time to gear up for the upcoming season, especially if you call Maryland home! With its diverse wildlife, Maryland offers a unique hunting experience for hunters of all levels, from seasoned pros to beginners. The next deer hunting season will run from September 2023 to January 2024 after concluding in February. Let’s explore all there is to know about this thrilling season, from hunting hours to equipment. By adhering to the recommendations in this guide, you should have a wonderful time deer hunting in Maryland. You’ll be prepared to aim and hunt thanks to your knowledge of the most up-to-date schedule, your use of legal weapons, your observance of legal hunting hours, and your use of safety gear such as hunter orange.

Important Resources

Deer Hunting Regulations

MDNR Regulations

MD Season Dates

Maryland Deer Season

This season you’ll have the chance to explore Maryland’s diverse wildlife and try your hand at bagging a trophy. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting out, there’s something for everyone in the Old Line State. But don’t forget, there are a few rules to follow like hunting only during designated hours from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, using only approved firearms like rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders, and wearing hunter orange for safety.

Below is a complete list of Deer Schedules for the year

White-Tailed Deer 2024-2025

White-Tailed Deer Seasons (ANTLERED DEER) (STATEWIDE)

Archery

Sep 6 – Oct 16
Sunday, Oct 20 – Nov 29
Dec 16 – Dec 20
Sunday, Jan 5 – Jan 9
Jan 10 – Sunday, Jan 12 (Region A only)
Jan 13 – Jan 31
Oct 17 – Oct 19
Dec 21 – Jan 4
Nov 30 – Dec 14
Jan 10 – Jan 11 (Region B only)
12-Jan
Feb 1, 3 – 4

Bag Limit: 1 Antlered

White-Tailed Deer Seasons (ANTLERLESS) (Region-A)

DatesWeaponBag Limit
Sep 6 – Oct 16Archery2 Antlerless
Sunday, Oct 20 – Nov 29
Dec 16 – Dec 20
Sunday, Jan 5 – Jan 31
Oct 17 – Oct 19Muzzleloader
Dec 28 – Jan 4
Dec 7 – Dec 14Firearm
Feb 1, 3 – 4Primitive1 Antlerless

White-Tailed Deer Seasons (ANTLERLESS) (Region B)

DatesWeaponBag Limit
Sep 6 – Oct 16Archery15 Antlerless
Sunday, Oct 20 – Nov 29
Dec 16 – Dec 20
Sunday, Jan 5 – Jan 9
Sunday, Jan 13 – Jan 31
Oct 17 – Oct 19Muzzleloader10 Antlerless
Oct 21 – Oct 26
Dec 21 – Jan 4
Nov 30 – Dec 14Firearm
Jan 10 – Sunday, Jan 12
Feb 1, 3 – 4Primitive 

Junior Deer Hunt (Antlered & Antlerless Deer)

a

Region A16-Nov1 deer
Region BNov 17 (Sunday) 3 deer, no more than 1 antlered

Sika Deer Season Maryland
Sika Deer Season Maryland

Maryland Sika Deer Season

If you’re looking to up your deer hunting game in Maryland, then you won’t want to miss the 2023-2024 Sika deer season! This exciting season provides hunters with the chance to bag a unique and exotic trophy. Sika deer, native to Asia, have been introduced to the Old Line State and are now thriving in certain areas, providing a new challenge for hunters. Make sure to brush up on your hunting skills and gear up with the right weapons, as these elusive deer are known for their agility and cunning. With set hunting hours and the requirement to wear hunter orange for safety, the Sika deer season is sure to be an adventure you won’t soon forget. Get ready to take aim at the ultimate prize and let the hunt begin!

Sika Seer Maryland (Antlered & Antlerless Deer)

DatesWeaponBag Limit
Sep 6 – Oct 16Archery3 deer, no more than 1 antlered
Sunday, Oct 20 – Nov 29
Dec 16 – Dec 20
Sunday, Jan 5 – Jan 9
Jan 13 – Jan 31
Oct 17 – Oct 19Muzzleloader
Oct 21 – 26 (Region B only)Antlerless Only

Maryland Deer Regulations

  • Archery Deer Regulations: Deer hunting during Archery Season requires a hunting license unless you are in the military or another allowed category. Archery Season and Primitive Deer Hunt Days need an Archery Stamp to use bows and arrows. Excluded hunters and Senior Lifetime Consolidated Hunting License holders are exempt from this restriction. Tag and inspect every harvested deer.
  • Archers may utilize their gear on Archery, Mantleloader, Junior, and Primitive Deer Hunt Days. Primitive Deer Hunt Days limit hunters to long and recurve bows. Archery, Mantleloader, and Firearms Season deer count against the bag limit. Archery deer taken during Primitive Deer Hunt Days will count against the archery bag limit, with rare exceptions.
  • Archery, Muzzleloader, and Primitive Deer Hunt Days prohibit carrying an arrow plus a weapon. Fire from or across a public highway is unlawful. Archery hunters do not have to wear flashy colors during the Archery Season.
  • In Deer Management Region A, 21-year-olds may only carry a handgun for bear protection during Archery Season. A handgun may kill animals hurt by a vertical bow or crossbow, but it cannot be used to hunt wildlife, have a barrel longer than six inches, or have a telescopic sight or electronic targeting system.
  • Vertical Bow & Cross Bow Regulations: For deer hunting with a vertical bow, it needs to have a draw and pull of 30 pounds or more. Draw locking devices and release aids are okay, except during the Primitive Deer Hunt Days.
  • To use a crossbow for deer hunting, it needs to have a draw of 75 pounds or more and a working safety. It’s illegal to have a loaded crossbow in or on a vehicle. A cocked crossbow without a bolt or arrow is considered unloaded and crossbows are not allowed during the Primitive Deer Hunt Days.
  • For both vertical bows and crossbows, the arrows or bolts used for deer hunting must have a sharp, metal broadhead with a minimum width of 7/8 inch. Poisoned or explosive tips are not allowed.
  • Muzzleloader Hunting regulation: Unless exempt, you need a license to hunt deer during Muzzleloader Season. Unless you hold a Senior Lifetime Consolidated License, muzzleloader hunters require a stamp. Follow deer tagging and checking guidelines. Muzzleloaders may only be used to hunt deer during Muzzleloader Season, Firearms Season, Junior Deer Hunt Days, and Primitive Deer Hunt Days. Primitive Deer Hunt Days allow only flintlock or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders.
  • Any deer you take with a muzzleloader during the Muzzleloader Season, Firearms Season, or Junior Deer Hunt Days will count towards the bag limit of that season. During the Primitive Deer Hunt Days, the number of antlered white-tailed deer, (Region A) antlerless white-tailed deer, (Region B) antlerless white-tailed deer, and sika deer you take with a muzzleloader will count towards the regular bag limit for that species. You must wear daylight fluorescent color clothing while hunting during the Muzzleloader Season, Firearms Season, and Primitive Deer Hunt Days. Don’t shoot from, on, or across any public road, it’s illegal.
  • Hunting licenses and Muzzleloader Stamps are necessary to hunt deer in Maryland unless exempt. Muzzleloading rifles, shotguns, and pistols that fulfill caliber and powder criteria may be used for hunting. Only flintlock or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders are authorized during Primitive Deer Hunt Days. Hunters should use smokeless powder with care. Legal sabot loading. Disabling the ignition system unloads firearms. Loaded firearms in vehicles are prohibited.
  • Firearms Hunting Regulations: Deer hunting requires a Maryland license. Weapons Season and Junior Hunt Days allow shotguns, rifles, pistols, muzzleloading weapons, air guns, and archery. In certain states, rifles and handguns may employ bottleneck cartridges. Follow tagging and inspection rules while hunting deer. The first day of the Firearms Season, you may only shoot deer and coyotes and must wear bright clothing. Shooting from a public road is banned, as is carrying more than eight shots or shells. Archery Season deer hunting bans automatic weapons, rifles, and air guns (with the exception of a pistol for self-defense against bear).
  • Handgun Regulations: Handgun restrictions for deer hunting in Maryland: Handguns must have a barrel length of 6 inches or more, use cartridges, and have a muzzle energy of 700 foot pounds or more. Bottleneck handguns allowed only in some counties during Firearms Season/Junior Deer Hunt Days. Straight-walled handguns allowed throughout the state, subject to local/county rules.
  • Air Gun Regulations: Air Gun restrictions for deer hunting in Maryland: Air guns must meet specific requirements for caliber, energy, arrow length, and arrow speed to be legal. Poisoned/explosive-tipped arrows not allowed. Loaded air guns not allowed in vehicles. Air guns without projectiles considered unloaded.
  • Rifle Regulations: Rifle restrictions for deer hunting in Maryland: Bottleneck rifles allowed only in some counties during Firearms Season/Junior Deer Hunt Days, but straight-walled rifles are allowed throughout the state. Use ammo with minimum muzzle energy of 1,200 foot pounds. Follow local/county rules.
  • Shotgun Regulations: Shotgun restrictions for deer hunting in Maryland: Shotguns must be 28 gauge or larger, use shells, and shoot a single solid projectile (except in Dorchester where #1 buckshot or larger is allowed). All counties allowed, subject to local/county rules.

Managed Deer Hunting Programs

Hunters in Maryland require a hunting license, hunter education certificate, and deer stamp to take part in regulated deer hunting programs. They need to hold a Shooter Qualification Card and be chosen in a lottery. The Shooter Qualification Card is earned by passing a shooting exam administered by a recognized organization, such as a sportsman’s club, a shooting club, or a similar entity in your area. Hunters must complete the qualifying event on December 11, 2022 at Notchcliff Army National Guard Range in Baltimore County in order to participate in the regulated deer hunts at Gunpowder Falls State Park and Seneca Creek State Park. There are other, maybe fee-based, opportunities to qualify that take place at various times and places throughout the year. More details are available at dnr.maryland.gov. for interested hunters. To learn more about a controlled hunt and what it entails, hunters can get in touch with the group running it.

In Maryland, to participate in managed deer hunts at Gunpowder Falls and Seneca Creek State Parks, hunters must meet licensing and safety requirements, be selected by lottery, and have a Shooter Qualification Card. Only shotguns using slugs or rifles that fire straight-walled cartridges are allowed and using scopes is encouraged. The deer taken during these hunts do not count towards the hunter’s regular limit. The limit for hunters at Gunpowder Falls is 60, at Seneca Creek is 60, and at Anne Arundel County is 140.  Information on the application can be found on the relevant websites.

The Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks Department-managed deer hunt needs a Shooter Qualification Card and hunter instruction and safety. Hunters are chosen by lottery and must pass background checks, have an interview, and bring their own tree stand. Only shotguns and muzzleloaders are permitted, with ammo limits. Only MD residents or active duty soldiers in MD may participate. The hunter meeting, pre-hunt scout date, and iron sights or scopes are necessary. Charges apply.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center controls deer hunting in Anne Arundel County, which requires a Shooter Qualification Card and hunter education certificate. A group application will randomly pick one to three hunters. Firearms Hunters must carry their own tree stands and use only shotguns loaded with slugs. Scopes are suggested, and impaired hunters will be accommodated. Before the hunt, the reconnaissance expedition is set for November 5–6, 2022. Page 34 contains all application forms.

Queen Anne’s County’s Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area-managed deer hunt requires hunters to provide a copy of their most current Maryland hunting license. The December firearms hunt and October muzzleloader hunt use a lottery.Get information at 410-827-7577.

Deer Tagging

Even unlicensed Maryland hunters must tag and inspect deer. To check in their game, individuals require a DNRid number from COMPASS, a DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center, or a DNR Sport License Agent. Hunters must fill out a field tag and attach it on the deer or turkey before moving it from the kill site or check the animal in and acquire a confirmation number. Hunters must register their game with the DNR within 24 hours after harvesting it using COMPASS, the Big Game Registration Phone Line, the AccessDNR app, or the TTY Maryland Relay. As a permanent record of the hunter’s registration, the confirmation number must be placed on a Big Game Harvest Record, created on paper, or stored electronically. Harvest records are available upon request.

In Maryland, hunters are required to indicate the hunting device used when checking in a deer or turkey and use their DNRid number. Each animal checked in will have its own confirmation number, which must be given to taxidermists and processors/butchers before any parts can be removed. Hunters should not remove the head or hide or cut meat until the animal has been registered and the confirmation number received. Additional Big Game Harvest Records can be obtained through the COMPASS portal or a Sport License Agent if needed.

Sunday Deer Hunting

The following designated public lands are available for Sunday hunting in the counties of Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s, and Washington: Billmeyer-Belle Grove WMA, C&D Canal Lands, Cunningham Swamp WMA, Dan’s Mountain WMA, Earlville WMA, Garrett State Forest, Green Ridge SF, Grove Farm WMA, Indian Springs WMA, McCoole FMA, Mount Nebo WMA, Old Bohemia WMA, Potomac On Sundays, it is legal to hunt deer from a half-hour before daybreak until 10:30 am, but only on the properties that are specifically mentioned. Sunday hunting is permitted on properties in Somerset County that are leased to hunt clubs for hunting purposes.

Download Deer Hunting Calendar

Contacts

Wildlife and Heritage Service Tawes State Office Building E-1,

580 Taylor Avenue

Annapolis, Maryland-21401

FAQs related to Maryland Deer Season

When is Maryland's deer hunting season?

In the state of Maryland, the deer shooting season begins in early September and lasts until late January.

What kind of weapons are permitted in Maryland during the deer shooting season?

During the deer hunting season in Maryland, hunters are permitted to use weapons such rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders.

When is the best time to go deer hunting in Maryland?

In Maryland, there is a certain window of time for deer hunting. The typical window for hunting is 30 minutes before to dawn to 30 minutes after dusk.

Do I need a license to shoot deer in Maryland?

In Maryland, you do indeed need a hunting license to go deer hunting.

In Maryland, is it legal to shoot deer on private property without the owner's consent?

No, it’s against the law in Maryland to shoot deer on private property without the owner’s permission.

Does Maryland deer hunting require the wearing of hunter orange?

When going deer hunting in Maryland, hunter orange is required. It improves visibility and reduces hunting-related accidents.

Does Maryland require me to report my deer harvest?

Yes, you must register your harvest of deer in Maryland. This aids the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in managing and keeping an eye on the state’s deer population.

Dates & Regulations Source: DNR Maryland

John Lewis
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