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General Hunting 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/aglaw/publications-library).

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. (See Migratory Game Bird Hunting & Falconry Hunting.)
  • 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 (Sunday Deer Hunting), turkeys (Turkey Hunting), small game (Small Game Hunting), and furbearers (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.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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