Hunters See Deer Harvest Decline by 3 Percent

Maryland hunters harvested fewer deer than last year during the combined archery, muzzleloader and firearm seasons September 11, 2015, through January 30, 2016.

BUCKPOLE Travis Fowble MarylandThe harvest of 84,022 deer represents a 3 percent decrease from last year’s total of 86,883. Biologists attribute the decline to reduced deer numbers in some rural areas and poor weather conditions which impeded hunting.

“Increasing hunting opportunities through extended seasons and Sunday hunting is helping to bring Maryland’s deer herd down to more appropriate levels in some of our rural areas,” according  to Paul Peditto, Wildlife and Heritage Service director. “We will continue to monitor the population closely and work to find solutions for less-rural areas across the state.”

The 2015-2016 statewide harvest included 28,619 antlered and 52,476 antlerless white-tailed deer and 1,236 antlered and 1,691 antlerless Sika deer.

In Region A of Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties, the number of deer taken increased 5 percent, from 8,740 deer last year to 9,190, with 5,493 antlered and 3,697 antlerless deer.

Hunters in Region B, the remainder of the state, took 74,832 deer (24,362 antlered and 50,470 antlerless), down 4 percent from last year’s 78,143.

Frederick County led the harvest totals again this year with 7,149 deer, followed by Washington County with 5,282 and Carroll County at 5,238; Baltimore and Montgomery counties totaled 4,970 and 4,744 deer, respectively.

Included in the statewide total were the 6,447 deer taken on the Sundays open for deer hunting.

“Sunday hunting remains an important tool for managing our deer population, particularly when poor weather negatively impacts hunting opportunities on popular Saturdays,” Peditto said. “The Sunday harvest is nearly eight percent of the total, even more remarkable considering some counties only have two Sundays to hunt, and three counties with very high deer densities have no Sunday hunting at all.”

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