Maryland – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/19/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations
Tags: , , , ,

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.


Is the information easy to find?

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Hunting page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The Maryland DNR page is easy to use, information is presented in a quick format.  What kind of license hunters need to hunt deer, where to hunt, how much licenses are, and when to hunt are all easy to find and logically laid out.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

There is no lottery system that I can find for nonresidents to acquire a deer hunting permit in Maryland.  There may be some quota hunts or specific preserves that require a lottery system, but general hunting and deer tags are over the counter.

Grade: A

 How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident hunting licenses cost $24.50, with an additional $6.00 archery tag, nonresident hunting licenses cost $130.00, with a $25.00 fee for an archery tag.  Maryland does not offer a short term hunting license that is eligible for deer hunting.  With the addition of the archery tag, these licenses are good for four deer, two antlered, two antlerless, depending on the zone hunted.  As an example of the variance in harvest limits, region ‘A’  would be one antlered and one antlerless deer during bow season (make certain to read the regulations – antlered and antlerless deer are TWO DIFFERENT SEASONS), while in parts of region ‘B’ antlerless deer are unlimited.

Grade: B

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The Maryland Deer Seasons and Bag Limits page is a bit odd.  The page is divided into Region A, Region B, Junior Hunter, and Antlered seasons, with a chart for each season.  The problem is the methodology, or perhaps lack of methodology, with which season is in at any given time.

For example: Region A antlerless bow season is:

Sept. 7–Oct. 17

Oct. 21–Nov. 23

Dec. 10–Dec. 14

Dec. 31–Jan. 31

In addition to the strange, staggered dates, the following regulations apply:

Fluorescent orange requirement: Bowhunters are required to wear fluorescent orange when the Deer Muzzleloader Season, Deer Firearm Season or Junior Deer Hunt is open in the deer management region where they are hunting. Bowhunters in Allegany and Garrett counties are required to wear fluorescent orange when the Black Bear Season is open.

Sunday deer hunting: Deer Bow Season is open on Sundays October 14, October 21, October 28, November 4 and November 11, 2012 in Region A on private land only.

So a bowhunter has to select a time frame in the four sections above, then cross reference Deer Muzzleloader Season (and bowhunters hunting in Muzzleloader season have to purchase a muzzleloader tag in addition to the hunting and archery tag for some reason, though perhaps that’s if a bowhunter wants to hunt in the ‘muzzleloader ONLY’ season, not overlapping dates,) Deer Firearm Seasons, Black Bear Season, and whether the hunt is on private or public property on certain sundays.

Grade: C

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Maryland offers public hunting in multiple areas, some of these areas do require lottery hunts, some have additional regulations.  The system is fairly straightforward, with a list of the public hunting areas in alphabetical order, though be aware that the order is by section of the state then public hunting area underneath that.

Grade: B

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

The only issue I can find is that Maryland has confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease in a venison sample from 2010.

The primary objective in the management of CWD is to prevent its spread into new areas. One possible mode of disease transmission is by the movement and disposal of infected carcasses. In an effort to minimize the risk for disease spread, Maryland, along with many other states, has adopted regulations that prohibit the importation of whole carcasses and certain carcass parts of deer, moose and elk harvested from states that have CWD.

A person may bring only the following parts of a dead deer, elk, or moose into Maryland from another state or province’s designated CWD containment, surveillance, or management area: (1) meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; (2) hind quarters and front shoulders with no spinal column or backbone attached; (3) meat without backbone; (4) cleaned hide with no head attached; (5) skull plate cleaned of all meat and brain tissue; (6) antlers with no meat or soft tissue attached; (7) upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers, or ivories; and (8) finished taxidermy mount or tanned hides. The Department will maintain a list of CWD positive states/provinces and contact numbers to call to confirm the containment areas in those areas that are subject to these restrictions. The list is available on the DNR website ( or by calling 410-260-8540.

As the website states, this should not prevent anyone from hunting or enjoying venison, it just takes a small amount of planning and research regarding the states you will be transporting your game through.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B+

Maryland has a decent website, and good prices, however the main point loss in this analysis was simply from the complexity of the seasons.  That complexity might be an illusion, any hunter who is considering a first time Maryland hunt would want to sit down and generate their own seasons chart based on the information provided on the website to ensure that all of the rules are met regarding tags, orange and private vs. public land hunting.

States Completed: AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisiana, Maine


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