Deer archery sea­son be­gins Sept. 11

The Dundalk Eagle - - REC COUNCIL NEWS -

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources an­nounced that archery hunt­ing for white-tailed and sika deer opens statewide Sept. 11, and con­tin­ues through Jan. 30, 2021.

New for the up­com­ing deer sea­son, archery and muz­zleloader hun­ters may par­tic­i­pate in Prim­i­tive Deer Hunt Days from Feb. 1-3, 2021. Dur­ing this spe­cial sea­son, hun­ters may use ver­ti­cal long­bows, ver­ti­cal re­curve bows, flint­lock, or side­lock per­cus­sion muz­zleload­ers only. Tele­scopic and elec­tronic aim­ing de­vices are pro­hib­ited dur­ing this hunt. More in­for­ma­tion on these spe­cial hunt days is avail­able in the 2020-2021 Mary­land Guide to Hunt­ing and Trap­ping.

For the 2020-21 sea­son, the statewide bag limit for white­tailed bucks is two deer (no more than one per weapon sea­son). Hun­ters have the op­tion to take one ad­di­tional bonus buck in Re­gion B (the state’s cen­tral, south­ern, and eastern re­gions) af­ter pur­chas­ing a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp.

The antler­less archery deer bag lim­its dif­fer be­tween deer man­age­ment re­gions. In Re­gion A, no more than one antler­less deer may be har­vested dur­ing the reg­u­lar archery sea­son. An ad­di­tional antler­less deer may be har­vested in Re­gion A dur­ing the Prim­i­tive Deer Hunt Days.

In Re­gion B, the antler­less archery limit is 15, ex­cept for in the Sub­ur­ban Deer Man­age­ment Zone, where the archery antler­less limit is now un­lim­ited. This newly re-es­tab­lished zone com­prises Anne Arun­del, Bal­ti­more, Howard, Mont­gomery, and Prince George’s coun­ties.

An antler-point re­stric­tion re­mains in ef­fect. Deer hun­ters may har­vest one antlered white-tailed deer within the yearly bag limit that does not meet the re­quire­ment of hav­ing at least three points on one antler. Any ad­di­tional antlered deer taken within the es­tab­lished bag limit must meet the min­i­mum point re­stric­tion. Li­censed ju­nior hun­ters and ap­pren­tice li­cense hold­ers, 16 years of age or younger, are ex­empt from this re­stric­tion.

The sika deer archery sea­son bag limit is three with no more than one be­ing antlered. An antlered sika is de­fined as a deer with at least one antler vis­i­ble above the hair­line. The sika deer archery sea­son is open in ev­ery county.

Mul­ti­ple Sun­days are open to archery hunt­ing in most coun­ties, in­clud­ing on some pub­lic lands.

“We are ex­cited to ex­pand our archery hunt­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties this year with the new Prim­i­tive Deer Hunt Days and re-es­tab­lished Sub­ur­ban Deer Man­age­ment Zone,” Wildlife and Her­itage Ser­vice Di­rec­tor Paul Peditto said. “Archery hunt­ing has be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for ef­fec­tive deer man­age­ment in Mary­land, and is es­pe­cially needed in ur­ban and sub­ur­ban ar­eas.”

Hun­ters should care­fully in­spect all tree-stands and al­ways wear a full-body safety har­ness while in the stand and while climb­ing in or out. The de­part­ment strongly rec­om­mends us­ing a slid­ing knot, com­monly known as a prusik knot, at­tached to a line that is se­cured above the stand that al­lows the hunter to be safely teth­ered to the tree as soon as they leave the ground.

When check­ing in their deer, hun­ters should re­port deer taken with a long, com­pound, or re­curve bow as har­vested with a ver­ti­cal bow. Cross­bow hun­ters should reg­is­ter their deer as taken with a cross­bow. This in­for­ma­tion helps biologists col­lect in­for­ma­tion on pref­er­ences and trends in how deer are har­vested.

Mary­land hun­ters are en­cour­aged to do­nate any ex­tra deer they may har­vest to Farm­ers and Hun­ters Feed­ing the Hungr y. Last year, the pro­gram pro­vided more than 650,000 veni­son meals to com­mu­nity food banks and other ef­forts.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MARY­LAND DE­PART­MENT OF NAT­U­RAL RE­SOURCES

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