General Hunting Regulations
In addition to the regulations listed elsewhere in this guide, it is unlawful to:
- Hunt any game bird or mammal while under the influence of alcohol or any narcotic drug.
- Hunt or trap on private land without written permission of the landowner.
- Hunt any game bird or mammal on Sunday with the exception of: (1) a person who possesses a Falconry Permit, who may hunt specified game birds and mammals on Sundays during the open season (see below, Falconry Regulations); (2) an unarmed person participating in an organized fox chase, who may chase foxes on Sundays; (3) persons hunting on Regulated Shooting Areas may shoot captive raised game birds on Sundays; (4) persons hunting deer on those Sundays specified in Junior Deer Hunt Days & Bag Limits, Skia Deer Seasons & Bag Limits, and White Tailed Deer Seasons & Bag Limits; (5) persons hunting turkeys on those Sundays specified in Wild Turkey; (6) persons hunting those game species on those Sundays specified in Furbearers & Small Game.
- Hunt any animal other than deer on the first day of Deer Firearms Season, except sea ducks in the Sea Duck Zone.
- Have a loaded firearm in, on, or leaning against any vehicle. This includes ammunition in the magazine or a muzzleloader ready to fire.
- Have a loaded crossbow in, on or leaning against a vehicle. A loaded crossbow is one that is cocked AND has an arrow or bolt in the firing position.
- Shoot on, from or across any public road.
- Hunt, trap or shoot at wildlife within 150 yards of an occupied building or camp without permission of the owner or occupant. For archery hunters this distance is 100 yards in Harford and Montgomery counties and 50 yards in Carroll and Frederick counties.
- Discharge a firearm within 300 yards of a public or nonpublic school while hunting. This prohibition only applies during school hours or when the building is occupied. This safety zone does not apply to colleges, universities, or home schools.
- Cast the rays of an artificial light from a vehicle on woods, fields, orchards, livestock, wild mammals or birds, dwellings or buildings. However, in Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, a person may cast the rays of an artificial light from a vehicle for the sole purpose of observing or photographing wildlife until 9:00pm. A person may not have a weapon in their possession while casting rays of an artificial light. Note: coyotes, foxes, opossums, or raccoons may be hunted on foot at nighttime during open season with the use of a dog or light, or both.
- Target shoot on State lands except in designated areas.
- Construct or use permanent blinds or tree stands on State-owned or controlled properties, unless provided by the DNR. Tree stands and blinds are limited to those of a temporary nature which must be removed at the end of each day.
- Trap on State lands without written permission from the controlling agency.
- Hunt without a form of positive identification, such as a drivers license, other photo identification or a secondary form of positive identification.
- Tamper with any legally set trap and to remove the catch from any legally set trap.
- Laser sights are legal for hunting all game species.
Note: The woodchuck and nutria are classified as “unprotected mammals.” As such, a hunting license is not required to hunt woodchucks and nutria except in Baltimore and Frederick Counties. Woodchucks and nutria may be hunted throughout the year, including on Sundays. Hunters must wear fluorescent orange while hunting woodchucks. All legal hunting devices may be used to hunt woodchucks and nutria.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.