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Dear Maryland Hunters and Trappers:

As outdoor enthusiasts, I know we all welcome the start of the 2020-2021 hunting and trapping season! Not only does Maryland have rich heritage steeped in the traditions of hunting and trapping, we have unique, world-class outdoor recreation experiences across our state. Our department’s wildlife professionals continue to work with many stakeholders to ensure that we manage those resources responsibly and provide you with safe and successful opportunities to hunt.

We are pleased to announce that new wildlife management areas have opened to provide even greater access to Maryland’s public lands. Hunters, trappers, and other wildlife enthusiasts will find a wonderful variety of places with diverse wildlife, terrain, and natural features to enjoy. Thanks to many private landowners, especially Maryland’s farmers, our state also has a vast network of private lands that support wildlife and hunting.

Finally, an important reminder for all of us as we head outdoors to enjoy Maryland’s natural resources – stay safe, take precautions, and protect others. Wishing you a safe and fruitful season afield!

Sincerely,

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio,

Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Greetings Maryland Hunters and Trappers:

Welcome to the 2020-2021 season. This spring and summer was no-doubt one of the more remarkable and challenging times in our modern history. We learned that spending time outdoors with our families was one of the safest ways to decompress from the stress of the pandemic. As a result, thousands of Marylanders took to the fields, forests and waterways across Maryland.

Hunters and trappers know the importance and value of being outdoors as well as any enthusiast. All of you enjoy being outdoors it and embrace it as part of your life. It is more than a place to fill a tag, indeed your outdoor world is a safe and stress-easing zone that allows you the chance to disconnect from the chaos of daily life – particularly when life is at its most stressful.

Perhaps more than any other season in recent history, the Spring 2020 turkey hunting opportunity demonstrated the passion and enthusiasm of the hunting community and their interest in being outside. Hunters across Maryland did not want to miss their chance to get outside and, in what is perhaps the purest form of social distancing, spend time in search of a spring gobbler while easing their minds of the news that surrounded us.

It was remarkable to read the tales of appreciation by so many of you who took to the fields and forests during the spring season and, irrespective of your success in tagging a turkey, found it one of the most fulfilling opportunities during that difficult time. Hunters and trappers are not immune to disease any more than those who do not hunt. But the passion of being outdoors, often with family and close friends, is a time-honored gift that keeps us emotionally and physically grounded. The spring 2020 turkey hunt was a place where many of you found that solid ground and we were pleased to be able to play a part in making it happen.

On behalf of the Wildlife and Heritage Service Team, I wish you all the best during the 2020-2021 season!

Paul A. Peditto,

Director of the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service