If you participated in the blind site lottery, we will begin processing licenses after we have finished with all of the lottery appointments, for all of the counties. Please bear with us. It may take a couple of weeks to get all the licenses processed, but you will have them in advance of hunting season.
Department has developed a new waterfowl offshore blind site licensing (OBSL)
procedure for the 2020-2021 season. This new process combines the lottery-based
drawing system, developed several years ago, with a virtual blind site
licensing process for successful applicants. This process addresses the public
health concerns related to Coronavirus, while ensuring an equal and fair
opportunity for all interested participants. The new procedure allows each
participant to draw an electronic place “in line” to obtain a site at a
designated location to hunt waterfowl in state waters.
have made every effort to continue the process of licensing blind sites, but
have moved that process online for the safety of our customers. Please check
this page frequently for updates and email us (OBSL.MD1@maryland.gov with any questions. Please remember that our
offices are not currently staffed on a regular basis for phone support; we
will, however, return your email as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate
your patience with this new licensing process.
lottery for the opening days of licensing was conducted online through the
department’s Compass licensing system. Beginning July 15, 2020, and ending on
July 28, 2020 at 11:59 pm, hunters registered online through the department’s
Compass licensing system and were entered into a random lottery for a county of
their choice. There was no charge to enter the lottery. Each person was allowed
only one entry. In addition to selecting a county in which they wished to
obtain a blind site, the applicant provided a valid email address to receive
all blind site licensing communications from the department. Hunters ensured
that they completed the checkout process, which ended upon clicking “Complete
Transaction.” On July 29, the department then randomly selected winners for each county where licensing would occur and those hunters will select blind sites in order of those lottery picks. Hunters must be Maryland residents and have purchased either a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 Maryland hunting license prior to their appointment to license sites.
Winners of the lottery were posted on the department’s website by DNR ID number and were notified by email. The email contained the time and date for a virtual online
meeting to select their sites. No in-person meetings occurred. The email
included a link to communicate with a DNR staff person at the appropriate date
and time through the Microsoft Teams online meeting application. The email address from DNR started with “OBSL.”
Appointments usually lasted 20 minutes and, during that time, hunters licensed a maximum of two sites. Virtual meetings began on August 4 and continued during normal
business hours until all appointments assigned by lottery were held. Due to the
increased time needed for online appointments and the volume of customers,
appointments in some counties occurred over multiple business days. If a winner
was unable to keep their appointment time, they were instructed to make a new
appointment once the process opens for appointments on request, per “Licensing
After Opening Days” below.
Landowners who wanted to license their property also entered the same lottery
through Compass. They were required to provide a copy of the property information (available online) and a tax map, or other legible map, showing the exact location of the shoreline to be licensed. Any landowners wishing to license their own property, or representatives who have the written permission to license the property on behalf of landowners (and provided this documentation during the virtual meeting), are exempt from the requirement to possess a current or past-year hunting license.
the opening days, licensing for all counties will occur by appointment only.
Customers may begin making appointments through the department’s website on
August 19, for virtual meetings that will begin August 24. NOTE: Do not
request an appointment through the licensing and registration page. A
link to request an appointment will be posted on this page beginning August 19.
Customers who schedule an appointment will receive an email that includes a link
to a virtual meeting with a DNR staff person at the appropriate date and time
through Microsoft Teams. See
below the section on “Virtual Meeting” for important details and computer requirements. If you have questions, please email us at OBSL.MD1@maryland.gov.
Owners of riparian property in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties,
where only landowners or those with the written permission of the landowner may
register sites, should make appointments during this period.
Please do not prepay for your blind sites. If you pay for your blind sites before your appointment and do not select a site, it may take several weeks to issue a
refund. Once you have selected your blind site(s) during the licensing meeting and have paid, you do not need to send us a receipt of payment or an email stating that you have paid. Please allow time for us to process your payment information; we will send your licenses as soon as possible.***
As described above, hunters who have won a place in the lottery, or those who make
an appointment for remaining blind sites after the lottery, will be emailed an
invitation to a virtual meeting with a DNR staff person. The email address from
DNR will start with “OBSL.” If you expect an email, but don’t see it, please
check your SPAM folder. The invitation will be for a specific date and time.
The invitation email will contain a web link to a virtual meeting that will be
conducted through the Microsoft Teams online platform. Although downloading the Microsoft Teams program onto your computer will be an option, it is not necessary. We strongly recommend using the online link rather than downloading the program. The hunter will need to click on the link provided to them by email and indicate they accept the meeting invitation. On the day of their
scheduled meeting, the hunter will enter the meeting by clicking on that same
Microsoft Teams link, prior to their appointed time, and wait to be connected
with a MD DNR representative, who will assist them with selecting up to two
waterfowl blind sites.
recommend joining Microsoft Teams
5 -10 minutes prior to the scheduled
meeting, especially if you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Teams. Hunters should review Microsoft Teams prior
to the meeting to familiarize themselves with its functions. For best results,
we recommend using a newer computer with Windows 10 and Google Chrome or
Microsoft Edge. We also recommend a minimum internet connection speed of around
6 - 8 Mgps (download) for optimal results. Speeds less than this may work, but
the video quality may begin to degrade as speeds decrease. You can test the
strength of your connection by typing “Internet Speed Test” into your browser
for a quick online test. For maximum speed, be sure to close all other programs
that may be running and sit close to your Wi-Fi router.
The Microsoft Teams meeting can also be joined from a smart phone or tablet through
the Microsoft Teams app. Hunters who wish to use their smart phone or tablet
must first download the Microsoft Team app well before the scheduled meeting.
Brief instructions for downloading the app are included HERE. We recommend the user familiarizes themselves with the functions of this app and uses a location that has a strong, reliable cellular signal of at least three out of four bars LTE for optimal use during the meeting.
this virtual meeting, the hunter and DNR representative must able to see and
speak to each other. If a hunter has a computer with a monitor and built-in
microphone, they should be able to see and speak via the Microsoft Teams
videoconferencing platform. Hunters are not required to have a computer with a
built-in camera in order for the process to work. However, if a hunter has a
computer that does not have a built-in microphone, they will need to have a
cell phone or landline where they can call into the virtual meeting (phone
number will be provided with the invitation). In this case, the hunter will be
watching the process on their monitor and listening and talking through their
phone. If the hunter is running the Microsoft Teams app on their smart phone,
they should be able to both see the process and speak via the app, rather than
needing to call in.
part of this process, the hunter will be able to view a map of their selected
county and work with DNR staff to pick blind sites from eligible locations.
Offshore waterfowl blind site placement specifications remain the same as in
past years and can be viewed by clicking HERE.
The DNR representative will review the hunter’s Compass account to make sure they
are eligible to participate in the blind site licensing process. The hunter may
be required to present information, such as a driver’s license, to verify that
they are the person scheduled for that appointment. The actual lottery winner,
or person who made the appointment, must be present in the virtual meeting for
blind sites to be reserved. Only one connection with the DNR representative is
allowed during the meeting. As with in-person licensing, the meeting will end
if the DNR representative cannot verify the identity of the hunter or determines
that they are ineligible to participate.
DNR representative will then share their screen allowing the hunter to view an
electronic map showing the tidal waterways in their selected county, the
shoreline mapping layer and riparian properties that have been licensed by
landowners. The DNR representative will be able to move the map around the
screen and designate each blind site by clicking on the location indicated by
the blind sites are selected the DNR representative will verify the hunter’s
contact information, provide them with their license number(s) and review
payment instructions with the hunter before ending the meeting.
After selecting up to two blind sites, the hunter will have to submit payment by
mailing a check for the total ($20 per site) to Offshore Blind Site Licensing,
MD DNR, 580 Taylor Avenue E1, Annapolis, MD 21401 or by submitting electronic
payment through their COMPASS account and emailing a copy of that receipt
to OBSL.MD1@maryland.gov. Please do not prepay for your blind sites. If you pay
for your blind sites before your appointment and do not select a site, it may
take several weeks to issue a refund. If you pay by check, please include the
license number(s) provided by the DNR licensing staff on your check to
facilitate receiving your license(s). If you pay through Compass, you do not
need to send your receipt or other email stating you have paid.
copies of the Offshore Waterfowl Blind Site Licenses will be sent after receipt
of payment. Please allow time for us to process your payment information; we
will send your licenses as soon as possible. Blind sites reserved by
hunters during the virtual meetings will be held for 30 days. If no payment has
been received within 30 days after the virtual meeting, the selected locations
will be reopened to licensing by the general public.
580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis MD 21401
Call toll-free in *Maryland* at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367)
Out of State: 410-260-8DNR (8367)