Deer in Maryland

A deer standing in the woods.The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Deer Project is responsible for managing native white-tailed deer and exotic sika deer. The Deer Project utilizes broad-based deer management techniques to meet their diverse goals, which are:

  • to ensure the present and future well-being of deer and their habitat;
  • maintain deer populations at levels necessary to ensure compatibility with human land uses and natural communities;
  • encourage and promote the recreational use and enjoyment of the deer resource;
  • and inform and educate Maryland citizens concerning deer biology, management options, and the impacts that deer have on landscapes and people.
  • During the last couple of decades, the primary focus of the Deer Project has been to slow a rapidly growing deer population. While hunting remains the most cost-effective and efficient population control mechanism available in most Maryland landscapes, continued urbanization has necessitated the development and use of non-lethal techniques where hunting is not practical or acceptable. Therefore, the Deer Project employs a blend of hunting-related deer management methods and proven non-lethal deer management techniques to manage deer.

    2017-2018 Deer Project Annual Report

    Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) - Updated Information

    Deer Project Annual Report Archives

    Commemorate your Deer Harvest
    with a Junior Hunter Certificate

    Found a shed? Shed antlers may be possessed at any time and do not require a permit. Shed antlers may be collected with permission from the property owner. Please note that antlered skulls that are found and are not directly due to hunter harvest should not be checked in using the regular deer check-in procedure. Instead, please contact the appropriate Wildlife and Heritage Service staff at to obtain the possession tag necessary to possess any antlers attached to a skull.

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