Proposed Wildlife Regulations

This is a summary of regulation proposals submitted by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. Consult the Maryland Register, Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), and the Natural Resources Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland for full legal text.

Wildlife and Heritage Service welcomes public comment on proposed regulations. However, only comments provided during the official public comment period specified in the appropriate Maryland Register announcement become part of the official regulatory record. The official public comment period is 30 days after publication of the proposed regulation in the Maryland Register. Receiving comments on the proposal provides the Department with invaluable information and perspectives on the views of the public regarding the proposed regulation that may be incorporated into content or editorial changes. The Maryland Register notice will provide contact information where all official public comments may be sent.

Interpreting proposed regulations requires some understanding of the convention for reading proposed regulation changes as developed by the Department of State Documents. The convention is as follows:

  • Roman type indicates existing text of the regulation.
  • Italic type indicates proposed new text.
  • [Single brackets] indicate text proposed for deletion.
  • (text unchanged) indicates none of the text for that section is proposed to be changed.


2018 Regulation Proposals

Open Seasons, Bag Limits for Game Birds and Game Animals
COMAR 08.03.03.01

Published in the Maryland Register: June 8, 2018
Public Comment Period Ends: July 9, 2018
Scheduled Effective Date: August 13, 2018

Click here to view the proposal

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 310-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to provide additional archery hunting opportunities on certain Sundays in Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Kent, Montgomery, Garrett and Washington counties. Additional Sundays will be added in September and January and the last Sunday in December for Allegany, Garrett, Kent, Montgomery and Washington counties. For the new Sundays in Montgomery County, archery hunting will end by 10:30 am. Additional Sundays in Carroll and Frederick counties will be added for the last Sunday in December and first two Sundays in January.


Open Seasons, Bag Limits for Game Birds and Game Animals
COMAR 08.03.03.03-.05, .07 and .08

Published in the Maryland Register: June 8, 2018
Public Comment Period Ends: July 9, 2018
Scheduled Effective Date: August 13, 2018

Click here to view the proposal

Purpose of the Changes:

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 310-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

The purpose of this action is to establish the season dates and bag limits for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 hunting seasons for forest game, upland game, fur-bearing mammals, white-tailed deer, and sika deer. Season dates and bag limits for most species are similar to previous hunting seasons with some exceptions. The black bear hunting season will be increased in length by one day by adding one additional day to the end of the season. The previous black bear hunting season was four days long, Monday through Thursday, and this change would set the hunting season at five days. The daily bag limit for pheasant will go from one bird to two birds, either sex, and the season will be extended to coincide with the end of small game season. The fall turkey season will be extended by one day. The season will begin on the last Saturday in October and last nine days, ending on the first Sunday of November. The statewide deer bag limit will now be two antlered deer. Hunters will be eligible to take a third antlered deer in Region B only with the purchase of a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp. No more than one antlered deer can be taken in a weapon season unless the Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp is used. The antler point requirement will change to allow a hunter to harvest only one antlered white-tailed deer that does not meet the minimum point restriction. Antlerless hunting opportunity on Public Land in Region A will be increased by allowing either sex deer to be harvest during the early muzzleloader season. The Region B archery bag limit will go from unlimited to fifteen.


Open Seasons, Bag Limits for Game Birds and Game Animals
COMAR 08.03.03.06

Published in the Maryland Register: June 8, 2018
Public Comment Period Ends: July 9, 2018
Scheduled Effective Date: August 13, 2018

Click here to view the proposal

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 310-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to amend the regulations regarding the Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp to eliminate the requirement that a hunter must harvest two antlerless deer before harvesting a bonus antlered deer during the open white-tailed deer hunting season after purchasing a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp. Previously, the bonus stamp could only be used in region B after harvesting two antlerless deer.


Upland Game Birds and Mammals
COMAR 08.03.05.05

Published in the Maryland Register: March 2, 2018
Public Comment Period Ends: April 2, 2018
Scheduled Effective Date: May 7, 2018

Click here to view the proposal

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 310-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to remove rusty blackbird from the list of species considered as blackbirds in this regulation. This change also requires that non-lethal solutions be used to solve depredation problems by blackbirds before lethal means may be used. The amendments also describe the type of shot or bullets that may be used on depredating crows and blackbirds. A report procedure is also established and described. These changes are consistent with recent modifications to the Federal Crow and Blackbird Depredation Order issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Waterfowl
COMAR 08.03.07.06-.07

Published in the Maryland Register: March 2, 2018
Public Comment Period Ends: April 2, 2018
Scheduled Effective Date: May 7, 2018

Click here to view the proposal.

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 310-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to clarify which weapons may be used for certain waterfowl hunting seasons and to clarify which waterfowl species may be hunted in the sea duck shooting zone. Amendments to Regulation .06 establish that shotguns used for hunting snow geese during the Light Goose Conservation Order season and resident Canada geese during the September season may hold more than three shells. Amendments to Regulation .07 establish that in the open area for the special sea duck season, sea ducks (scoters, long-tailed ducks, and eiders) may only be taken during the open dates of the special sea duck season.


Waterfowl
COMAR 08.03.07.12-.13

Published in the Maryland Register: March 2, 2018
Public Comment Period Ends: April 2, 2018
Scheduled Effective Date: May 7, 2018

Click here to view the proposal.

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 310-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the New Regulations:

The purpose of this action is to establish the shooting hours for certain goose hunting seasons. Regulation .12 will establish the shooting hours for hunting light geese, including snow geese, during the Light Goose Conservation Order season in Maryland. Regulation .13 will establish the shooting hours for hunting resident Canada geese during the September season in Maryland.


General Wildlife Hunting Regulations
COMAR 08.03.10.02, .14, and .15

Published in the Maryland Register: December 22, 2017
Public Comment Period Ends: January 22, 2018
Scheduled Effective Date: February 26, 2018

Click here to view the proposal.

Comments may be submitted be calling, faxing or emailing Karina Stonesifer at 310-777-2136 (phone), 301-777-2029 (fax) or karina.stonesifer@maryland.gov.

Purpose of the Changes:

The purpose of this action is to amend certain regulations to comply with federal regulations for migratory birds or to comply with legislation recently enacted by the General Assembly. Changes to Regulation .02 will remove the provision to allow the use of recorded bird calls when hunting resident Canada geese and clarifies that the use of recorded bird calls for snow geese is allowed only during the Light Goose Conservation Order season. Changes to Regulation .14 are intended to comply with legislation passed during the 2017 General Assembly. The regulation change removes the exemption from wearing fluorescent orange clothing for a person hunting certain wildlife on that person’s property. Changes to Regulation .15 correct the citation number to a federal regulation.