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Mixed Weather Affected Hunter Success During Opening Weekend of Deer Firearm Season
Annapolis, Md. — Maryland deer hunters experienced excellent weather on the Saturday opening of deer firearm season, Nov. 29, but were largely rained out on Sunday, Nov. 30. An estimated 15,880 deer were harvested during the weekend, a decline of 12 percent from last year’s opening weekend figure of 18,099 deer. Antlered harvest decreased 15 percent from 8,179 deer to 6,996 deer and the antlerless harvest decreased 10 percent from 9,920 deer to 8,884 deer. Sika deer comprised 140 of the antlered and 136 of the antlerless deer taken, similar to the 169 antlered and 136 antlerless deer reported during last year’s opener.
“We had a very good deer harvest this year going into the firearm season, so it isn’t a great surprise to see the numbers fall off slightly for the opening weekend, especially considering the poor weather conditions on Sunday,” said Wildlife and Heritage Service Deer Project Leader Brian Eyler. “Our antlerless harvest remains strong, which is critical for regulating deer population growth in Maryland.”
The opening weekend harvest in Region A (Garrett and Allegany Counties) decreased from 1,570 antlered deer last year to 1,328 antlered deer this year. In Region B, the antlered harvest decreased from 6,609 deer last year to 5,668 deer this year, while the antlerless harvest decreased from 9,920 to 8,884 deer this year.
Hunters harvested 2,111 deer in the 18 counties that permit Sunday hunting. In Harford County, where Sunday hunting was made legal for the first time this year, hunters reported a total of 571 deer for the weekend; a 25 percent increase over last year’s opening Saturday harvest of 458 deer.
“Sunday hunting has proven to be a viable deer management tool in Maryland. Not only does it provide additional days of recreation for our hunters, it has also proven to be a safe and effective addition to our efforts in managing the deer population,” added Eyler.
The two week deer firearm season runs through Saturday, December 13.
For bag limits, season dates and other hunting information visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide. The 2008-2009 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping issued with each hunting license contains detailed information about all of Maryland’s hunting seasons.
December 5, 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