Many don’t know that Maryland actually has both whitetails and Sitka deer. Archery season opened for both species on Sept. 6, with hunters in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties allowed to harvest two Sitka deer (one antlered).
The deer hunting outlook in 2013 is about the same as last year. Each year rifle hunters take about 50,000 whitetails, many in the 140-to-160-inch range. Sitka deer hunters also experience good success.
Because of urban sprawl, the safety zone for all archery hunters has been reduced to 100 yards in Harford County. And this year there will be additional Sunday hunting opportunities for archery deer hunters on private land in Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Harford, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s and Worcester counties. For more information, hunters should consult the 2013 Hunting and Trapping Guide.
There are other important regulation changes hunters need to be aware of. In the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Fairmount WMA impoundments, motorized boats (except those powered by electric motors) are prohibited between Oct. 1 and Mar. 31. And the state Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to check in deer harvested with a long, compound or recurve bow as harvested with a vertical bow. Crossbow hunters will register their deer as taken with a crossbow.
Although small in size, Maryland provides good public land deer hunting. This year additional property has been added to the Warrior Mountain WMA in Allegany County. The new 155 acres is accessible off Oliver Beltz Road. The 3,300-acre Idylwild WMA on the eastern shore near Delaware is another whitetail hunting hotspot. And if you’re lucky enough to have drawn a hunting permit, park lands in Montgomery and Howard counties, near Baltimore and Washington, D.C., offer a chance to harvest a 160-inch monster.