Deer Hunting in Maryland

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  • A
  • 232,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 57,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $24.50 and up

    Additional permits and stamps may be needed for specific weapon types, locations, etc.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $130 and up

    Additional permits and stamps may be needed for specific weapon types, locations, etc.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 194"

    Taken by Kevin Miller in Kent County in 2002, ranked 71st of all time.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 73

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 248 7/8"

    Taken by Donza L. Watson in Charles County in 2007.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 39

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Maryland is home to some good deer hunting. Image by Critterbiz

Season Dates (2021):

Dates vary greatly depending on hunting zone. But for most hunters, archery season opens September 10, muzzleloader on October 21, and firearm on November 27; and the primitive hunt is February 1-3. Other dates apply to certain regions. Please check the Maryland DNR website for specific deer season dates.

The Grade: A

This is one of the crown jewels of the Northeast, and it gets an A. Maryland has more than 200,000 whitetails, and it’s a pretty good deer hunting state. After several years of mild winters and good mast crops, the herd is in excellent shape going into the fall.

“Maryland is a small state, but we have great deer numbers and trophy animals, particularly from our coastal plain soils,” said Brian Eyler, deer project leader with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “License prices are a real bargain for nonresidents for the bag limit that comes with them. Finding private locations to hunt can be very challenging. But we expect the harvest to be similar to last year.”

This is a two-buck state with a very liberal antlerless harvest limit. Over-the-counter tags, expansive public-land areas, and varied terrain and habitat ranging from salt marsh to hill country make this state an interesting choice for both in- and out-of-state hunters.

Maryland has been a hotbed for big bucks over the last several years, and the past couple have been no exception. Per capita, it’s a top 10 destination for big bucks. With good habitat and mild winters, watch for Maryland to add to its record-book totals again this fall.

The one downside? “CWD continues to slowly expand in Maryland; fortunately it still has only been identified in two counties (Allegany and Washington),” Eyler said.

Still, it gets an A.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

For top-end deer, look to Anne Arundel, Charles, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne’s counties. But good deer and respectable numbers are produced throughout the state. Some of the biggest bucks are found in urban and suburban areas. The challenge is figuring out how to hunt them.

Maryland might not be big, but there are public-land opportunities. You can even find public lands by region. And definitely don’t forget about federal ground that’s open to hunting.

“You can hunt the mountains in the western part of the state down to the coastal plain public areas on the Eastern Shore,” Eyler said. “There is a great variety of habitats to experience in Maryland. We also have sika deer on most of our public lands in Dorchester County (Fishing Bay WMA, Taylors Island WMA, etc.). Our largest deer come from the Eastern Shore and from our urban/suburban counties where deer tend to get older.”

There are increased opportunities for Sunday hunting, too. Plus, rifles chambered for straight-walled cartridges will be permitted in shotgun-only areas. An urban/suburban deer management zone has also been defined.



Maryland Harvests

  • Sam Collins

    Montgomery , Maryland

  • cole Jessop

    smithsburg, Maryland

From the Realtree Trophy Den