CHESTERTOWN — Archery hunting for white-tailed and sika deer opened statewide Sept. 6, and continues through Jan. 31.
For the 2019-20 season, the statewide bag limit for white-tailed bucks is two deer, no more than one per weapon season, according to a news release from the Department of Natural Resources. Maryland hunters in Region B — the state’s central, southern and eastern regions — have the option to take one additional bonus buck after purchasing a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp.
“Archery hunting continues to play an important role in deer management in Maryland,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “It is particularly valuable in urban and suburban areas where hunting with firearms isn’t feasible. In some counties, more deer are harvested with archery equipment than with firearms and muzzleloaders.”
The antlerless deer bag limits differ between deer management regions. In Region B the antlerless archery limit is 15.
An antler-point restriction remains in effect, the release states. 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.
DNR officials remind hunters to 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 prussic 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, according to the release. 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, the release states.
Maryland hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Last year, the program reportedly provided more than 650,000 venison meals to community food banks and other efforts.