News from the DNR Office of Communications

Small Game Seasons Provide Abundant Hunting Opportunities

Annapolis, Md. (October 21, 2010) —   Hunting seasons for cottontail rabbits and bobwhite quail are set to begin on Saturday, November 6. Seasons for other small game species are already underway; squirrel season opened on September 4 and ruffed grouse season began on October 2.

“Small game hunting is an excellent way to get young hunters excited about the outdoors,” said Bob Long, DNR’s Upland Game Bird Biologist. “Young hunters who lack the patience to sit in a deer stand for hours often enjoy the fast-paced action that small game hunting provides.”

With the abundance of acorns this year, an after-school hunt for squirrels should offer plenty of action. Small game hunting can provide a great opportunity to learn about responsibility and hone shooting skills with a reasonable chance for success.

While rabbits can be found statewide, ruffed grouse are restricted to the western counties of Maryland. Grouse hunting can be challenging as they are considered the toughest Maryland game bird to take in flight.

Wild quail are not nearly as common as they once were but can still be found where good habitat is available. Quail hunters using public land should note that the season has been shortened and bag limits have been reduced this year. On lands owned or controlled by DNR, the quail season will end on January 15, 2011 and the daily bag limit is three birds.

Regulated shooting areas that release pen-raised game birds may be a good option for small game hunters and bird dog enthusiasts that lack access to properties with good habitat.

Complete small game regulations can be found in the 2010-2011 Guide to Hunting & Trapping, which is issued with each hunting license, or online at

   October 21, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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