Hunting Regulations and Requirements
- 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 dwellings or buildings, fields, livestock, orchards, wild mammals and birds, or woods. 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 p.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.
- Safety Zones: It is illegal to hunt, shoot or trap wildlife within 150 yards of any building or camp occupied by human beings without permission of the owner or occupant. For archery hunters this distance is 100 yards in Anne Arundel County and 50 yards in Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Montgomery and St. Mary’s counties. In Harford, archers must use a tree stand when hunting between 50 and 100 yards of any building or camp occupied by human beings. In Montgomery and Washington counties, archers must be in an elevated position when hunting between 50 and 100 yards of any building or camp occupied by human beings.
- It is unlawful to 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.
- It is unlawful to tamper with and remove the catch from any legally set trap.
Hunting on Private Property
Written permission is required from the property owner to hunt or trap on private property in all counties.
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 read Bulletin EB357 (Landowner Liability and Recreational Access) at the University of Maryland Extension’s website (https://extension.umd.edu/learn/publications/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 2 inches in width and 8 inches in length must be centered at least 3 feet, but no more than 6 feet, from the ground or water surface. The paint must be oil-based and bright blue.
- A person who possesses a Falconry Permit may hunt specified game birds and mammals on Sundays during the open season (Migratory Game Bird Seasons & Limits and 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 Seasons & Limits), small game (Small Game Seasons & Limits) and furbearers (Furbearer Seasons & Limits) 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 Department of Natural Resources. 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.