News, Sports

Maryland Junior Deer Hunt opens Nov. 12

Officials from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are encouraging experienced deer hunters to take advantage of the upcoming Junior Deer Hunting Days to introduce youth to hunting traditions and skills.

The Junior Deer Hunt is open on private and designated public land in all counties on Saturday, November 12. The season is also open on Sunday, November 13 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George’s. On November 13, junior hunters in Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s and Washington counties, may hunt on designated public lands.

“The Junior Deer Hunt provides a great opportunity for mentors to teach young hunters the skills of deer hunting,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “This time often coincides with peak deer activity and prime fall weather, making for a memorable hunt for all involved.”

Hunters 16 years of age or younger who possess a valid license may use air guns or firearms that meet the regulatory requirements to hunt sika and white-tailed deer on these days.

Youth must be accompanied by an adult, at least 21 years old, holding a valid Maryland hunting license. Adults may serve as mentors only and not possess a hunting device while accompanying a junior hunter.

Hunters who are not serving as mentors for a junior deer hunter may participate in other open hunting seasons during the junior deer hunt days.

All deer hunters, archery and non-deer hunters, must wear the required hunter orange or pink during the youth hunt dates.

The bag limits for the Junior Deer Hunt Days are:

—One antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer in Region A;

—Three white-tailed deer in Region B, with no more than one antlered; and

—One antlered or one antlerless sika deer.

Region A deer management area includes Allegany County, Garrett County and the western portion of Washington County (Zone 2, Private Land Code Areas 250 and 251) that lies west of a line beginning at the intersection of Rt. 494 and the Pennsylvania line, south on Rt. 494 to Rt. 57, south on Rt. 57 to Rt. 40 at St. Paul’s Church, west on Rt. 40 to the junction of Big Spring Rd. and Rt. 40 in Clear Spring, south on Big Spring Rd. to the junction of Rt. 56 at Big Spring, following Rt. 56 then south on Charles Mill Rd. to the Potomac River.

Region B includes all the rest of the state, including Urban/Suburban Deer Management zones.

Deer taken by youth hunters during the two days don’t count toward regular archery, firearm, or muzzleloader bag limits. They are also exempt from the state’ s antler point restriction.

Season dates, bag limits, hunting regulations, and registration procedures can be found in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

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.

Hunters are encouraged to help others by donating deer taken in Maryland. A state tax credit offers hunters an incentive for donated deer. Other local or state programs are also available, so hunters should check with their deer processor.