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Hunting Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon Maryland Hunting

General Regulations

  • A hunter must carry personal photo identification (such as a driver’s license) or a secondary form of positive identification while hunting.
  • A hunting license holder is required to have a printed paper copy or electronic copy of their hunting license in their possession while hunting.
  • It is unlawful to hunt any game bird or mammal while under the influence of alcohol or any narcotic drug.
  • It is unlawful to hunt any animal other than deer on the first day of Deer Firearms Season, except sea ducks in the Sea Duck Zone.
  • It is a violation of law to 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 9:00p.m.. A person may not have a hunting device 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 and light.

Hunting on Private Property

Written permission is required from the property owner to hunt or trap on private property in all counties.

Liability

Any person hunting on private property shall be liable for any damage caused by that person to private property while hunting. The landowner may not be liable for accidental injury or damage to the hunter, whether or not the landowner or the landowner’s agent or lessee has given permission to hunt. For additional information regarding landowner liability in Maryland read Bulletin EB357 (Recreational Access and Landowner Liability in Maryland) at the University of Maryland Extension’s website (extension.umd.edu/learn/pubs/landowner-liability-and-recreational-access-eb-357).

Controlling Hunter Use of Private Property

Posting property boundaries in a conspicuous manner makes it illegal to trespass or for any person to enter without the landowner’s permission. Maryland law allows the use of blue paint stripes and/or signs to indicate private property boundaries. Vertical paint marks at least two inches in width and eight inches in length must be centered at least three feet, but no more than 6 feet, from the ground or water surface. The paint must be oil-based and bright blue.

Sunday Hunting

  • A person who possesses a Falconry Permit may hunt specified game birds and mammals on Sundays during the open season.
  • An unarmed person participating in an organized fox chase may chase foxes on Sundays.
  • Persons hunting on Regulated Shooting Areas may shoot captive raised game birds (except free-flying captive-raised waterfowl) on Sundays.
  • Persons may hunt deer, turkeys, small game, and furbearers on certain Sundays in certain areas.

State Owned Lands

  • It is illegal to target shoot on state lands except in designated areas.
  • It is a violation of law to 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.
  • It is unlawful to trap on state lands without written permission from the controlling agency.
  • It is illegal to place bait for hunting on state lands.

Fluorescent Orange Clothing Requirements & Exceptions

Fluorescent orange (hunter orange) clothing promotes hunter safety because it is easy for other hunters to see outdoors. Except as noted in the exemptions below, a fluorescent orange outer garment or hat must be worn by all people who hunt any wildlife or accompany, aid, or assist a hunter in a field, marsh, wooded area, or on the water. Even those who are exempt from this requirement are encouraged to wear fluorescent orange when hunting.

Whenever hunting, both hunters and companions must wear either:

  • a cap of solid fluorescent orange color worn as an outer garment on the head at all times;
  • a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of solid fluorescent orange color worn as an outer garment at all times; or
  • an outer garment of camouflage fluorescent orange worn above the waist which contains at least 50% fluorescent orange color.

Persons required to wear fluorescent orange that hunt from a ground blind that has four sides, a top, and is placed 4 feet or less above the ground must display, on or within 25 feet of the blind, a cap of solid fluorescent orange color or a panel, band, strip, or garment containing at least 250 square inches (approximately 16” x 16”) of solid fluorescent orange color.

Be aware that:
  • Children, spouses, and property owners (hunting on the owned property) are required to wear fluorescent orange.
  • Those who hunt with archery equipment during the Junior Deer Hunting Days, Deer Firearms and Deer Muzzleloader Seasons are required to wear fluorescent orange.
  • Deer archery hunters hunting in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties during the open black bear season are required to wear fluorescent orange.

Those exempt from the requirement of wearing fluorescent orange are:

  • except as noted above, a person who hunts deer during the Deer Archery Season.
  • a person authorized by a Falconry Permit who hunts game birds or mammals using falcons, hawks or owls.
  • a person who hunts or accompanies, aids, or assists another person hunting the following species:
    • brant
    • coot
    • crow
    • dove
    • ducks
    • furbearing mammals
    • geese
    • rails
    • snipe
    • wild turkey