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Region deer hunting laws easy to follow (Outdoors column)

November 11, 2000|By BILL ANDERSON / Staff Correspondent

Region deer hunting laws easy to follow



On Nov. 25 the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is estimating that some more than 80,000 hunters will take the field to participate in the opening of the firearms season for deer. Maryland offers a number of seasons, including bow and muzzleloader, but in terms of participation and total harvest, firearms season is the most important.

The DNR says that 57 percent of the total harvest was taken in firearms season, followed by bow season with 21 percent and muzzleloader season with 22 percent. The DNR reports that hunters bagged 42,337 deer last season in setting a record. The total was comprised of 20,147 bucks and 22,190 antlerless deer. As usual, Western Maryland counties were among the leaders. The top counties were Frederick (3898), Allegany (3425), Washington (3350), Garrett (2949) and Dorchester (2612).

As most hunters know, Maryland now has four Deer Management Regions with independent bag limits. In other words, deer bagged in one region do not count toward the bag limit in another region.

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Since most local hunters will be hunting in Region A, the following is an overview of the regulations for this region:

Region A includes Allegany, Garrett and Washington County (Zone 2). While hunting in Region A, antlerless permits are no longer required to take antlerless deer in this region. In this region, hunters may take one deer on the basic license. During the period Nov. 25-Dec. 7, hunters must take an antlered deer. During the period Dec. 8-9, the deer taken may be antlered or antlerless.

Hunters can also take a second deer in Region A if they purchase the Bonus Deer Stamp, which is $5 for resident or $25 for nonresidents. The second deer must be antlered Nov. 25-Dec. 7. The second deer may be of either sex on Dec. 8-9. The DNR points out that the combined deer bag limit for Region A during the firearms season is two deer. Within that combined deer bag limit, only one of the two may be an antlerless deer.

As pointed out earlier, each DNR has separate, independent bag limits for that region. If you are hunting outside of Region A, be sure to completely review the appropriate regulations for your region. For example, only one deer may be taken per day in Region A; in the other regions, there is no daily restriction as long as you stay within the season limits for that region.

With deer season about to begin, the DNR is reminding hunters of the safety issues that are particular to deer hunting with the following reminders:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Always wear a safety belt when hunting from a tree stand.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Be sure to inspect permanent tree stands, and make repairs as necessary.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Always use a hoist rope to get unloaded firearms up and down from your tree stand.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Always fully identify your target and terrain beyond.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Keep firearms cased and unloaded when transporting them to and from hunting areas.

Camping for Deer Hunters

The DNR announced this week that the Maryland Sportsman's Association has offered to assist the DNR is keeping open the campgrounds at three popular areas that were to be closed.

MSA volunteers will serve as campground hosts at Green Ridge State Forest, which will free up DNR staff so that camping areas at Swallow Falls State Park, Rocky Gap State Park, and the Manor Area of Cunningham State Park can be open for deer season.

MSA President, Tim Lambert, said the organization is happy to help the hunting community. "There are families who have traditionally hunted and camped in these areas and our members are happy to volunteer some time to help the DNR staff these areas and keep them open.''

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