Deer Damage Management Techniques
The key to controlling deer numbers is to harvest antlerless deer, especially does. Maryland’s regulated hunting seasons and bag limits encourage the harvest of antlerless deer.
Maryland’s Deer Project staff can evaluate private property for the potential of managed hunting opportunities and can inform community members of any hunting limitations due to the location and surrounding landscape during a discussion of the potential options.
Bowhunting can be used to take deer in developed areas, and has been used in some suburban areas with success. Some local ordinances, community covenants, and municipal regulations may place restrictions on hunting in some communities. Check with your local police for any restrictions that may apply.
Crossbows are legal hunting devices in Maryland. Check the current “Hunting and Trapping in Maryland” publication for the current seasons, bag limits and other regulations.
Firearms can be used, with discretion, in some more developed areas with advisory assistance from the Department. Maryland regulation requires that hunters acquire written permission from neighbors when hunting within 150 yards an occupied structure. Town ordinances and / or community bylaws may prohibit the discharge of firearms.
Special antlerless deer hunting seasons have been established to increase the harvest of female deer in areas of the state where the deer herd needs to be reduced. Specific information on this can be found in the Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland that is published annually and is released prior to the fall hunting seasons.
“Deer Hunting: A Valuable Deer Management Tool for Private Landowners” explains the role of hunting in controlling deer populations. This information can assist you in deciding if hunting is the management tool that is right tool for you. It can help you decide which hunting season to utilize, how many hunters to allow, and also gives suggestions on how you can best utilize your hunters to effectively reduce the deer population on your property.
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