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DNR Finalizes Hunting And Trapping Proposed Regulations For The 2008–2009 And 2009–2010 Seasons
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Today, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service finalized the hunting and trapping season and bag limit regulations for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. Public comment opportunities began in early February with several public meetings and concluded last week with the Wildlife Advisory Commission approving all of the proposals.
“We are very pleased by the outstanding quality and quantity of input we received during all aspects of the public comment period”, said Pete Jayne, Associate Director for Game Management. “It’s very encouraging to hear from so many people who passionately care about Maryland’s remarkable wildlife resources.”
A summary of the final proposed regulations are outlined below.
- Snow Geese - Allow special snow goose hunting methods when and where appropriate and utilize the Light-Goose Spring Conservation Season when authorized by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Mourning Doves - Increase the daily bag limit from 12 to 15 birds per day when the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service federal framework includes this option with a 70 day season.
- Wild Turkeys – Allow crossbows to be used to hunt turkeys in the spring and fall seasons.
- Eastern Cottontail Rabbits – Extend the statewide hunting season by two weeks.
- Fishers – Increase the season bag limit and possession limit from one to two.
- River Otters – Increase the season bag limit and possession limit from one to two in Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery and Washington Counties and from five to 10 in all other counties; except Garrett and Allegany where the season will remain closed.
- Deer -
- Establish a separate bag limit for the Junior Hunt Day in Regions A and B.
- Increase the length of the antlered or antlerless segment of the Region A Firearms Season to 2 days on private land only.
- Allow crossbows to be used during the entire bow season in the Suburban Deer Archery Zone (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties).
- Reduce the combined bag limit on antlerless deer on public lands in Region A to 2 for the entire year.
- Black Bears –
- Modify the existing regulation on feeding bears to address situations where bears are becoming habituated to people or human activities and cause a threat to human safety. Under the proposed regulation, citizens will be given the opportunity to remove attractants and cease feeding activities prior to being charged.
- Allow DNR flexibility to reach a desired harvest level by setting a targeted harvest level and ending the hunt when it is reached (as it has in the past) or by establishing a set number of days for the hunt.
- Hunter Safety Issue – Require certain hunters using an enclosed blind to display at least 250 square inches of solid fluorescent orange on or near the outside of any blind not elevated at least 10 feet from the ground. This will only apply when the person(s) using the blind would otherwise be required to display solid fluorescent orange while hunting or aiding with a hunting activity.
DNR received hundreds of comments on the proposals via several public meetings, emails, letters, faxes, phone calls and an online forum.
“Public comments convinced us to add several concepts that we had not initially presented and drop a few less viable concepts,” added Jayne.
Based on public feedback received, DNR withdrew the proposal to extend the season for red and gray foxes, fishers, long tailed weasels, skunks and coyotes by two weeks in both existing management zones. Thus, no changes are now proposed for the length of those seasons.
The final proposals and comments received via email may be viewed at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/comments/Final_Hunt_Proposals.asp.
March 26, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.