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Muzzleloader Deer Hunting Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon Maryland Hunting

  • A hunting license is required to hunt deer during the Muzzleloader Season except those exempt from the license requirement. See Maryland Hunting Licenses for requirements, types, costs, exceptions, purchasing, and Armed Forces information.
  • A Muzzleloader Stamp is required to hunt deer during the Muzzleloader Season except:
    • hunters entitled to hunt without a license do not need to purchase a Muzzleloader Stamp; and
    • hunters with a Senior Lifetime Consolidated License do not need to purchase a Muzzleloader Stamp.

Resident Muzzleloader Stamp$6.00

Nonresident Muzzleloader Stamp$25.00

(See Purchasing Your Maryland Hunting Licenses, Stamps and Permits, below.)

  • To take a bonus antlered white-tailed deer, all deer hunters except those who may hunt without a license must purchase a Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp (see White Tailed Deer Seasons & Bag Limits).
  • All muzzleloader deer hunters must have and use a Maryland Big Game Harvest Record (see General Deer Hunting Rules).
  • All deer and turkeys taken by muzzleloader hunters in Maryland must be field tagged immediately and checked in within 24 hours with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. See Deer and Turkey Tagging and Checking.
  • Muzzleloading firearms may only be used to hunt deer during the Muzzleloader Season, Firearms Season, and Junior Deer Hunting Days.
  • Deer taken with a muzzleloader must count towards the bag limit of the season in which they are taken. Deer taken with a muzzleloader during the Firearms Season must count towards the Firearms Season bag limit.
  • All deer hunters are required to wear fluorescent orange during all Muzzleloader Season and Firearms Season dates, except the landowner (only) hunting on their own property. See Fluorescent Orange Clothing Requirements and Exceptions.
  • It is illegal to shoot on, from or across any public road.
  • It is illegal to hunt 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 Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties and 50 yards in Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, and St. Mary’s counties. In Harford County, the distance for archery hunters is now 50 yards, however, archers must use a tree stand when hunting between 50 and 100 yards of an occupied dwelling or other building.
  • 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.

Muzzleloader Regulations

  • Deer may be hunted with a muzzleloading rifle, muzzleloading shotgun, or muzzleloading handgun (both single shot and revolvers) in all Maryland counties.
  • To be considered a muzzleloader, a rifle, shotgun or handgun must be loaded from the muzzle, and a revolver must be loaded from the front of the cylinder.
  • Flintlock, percussion cap, and inline ignition muzzleloaders are legal hunting devices for deer.
  • Muzzleloading rifles or shotguns used for deer hunting must be at least .40 caliber in size and must use 60 grains of black powder or more (a black powder equivalent is acceptable) and propel one all-lead, lead alloy or copper soft-nosed or expanding bullet or ball at a single discharge.
  • Muzzleloading handguns used for deer hunting must be at least .40 caliber with a barrel length of at least 6 inches and must use 40 grains of black powder or more (a black powder equivalent is acceptable) and propel one all-lead, lead alloy or copper soft-nosed or expanding bullet or ball at a single discharge.
  • Sabot loads are legal for use in muzzleloaders used for deer hunting.
  • Muzzleloaders are considered unloaded if the ignition system is disabled by removal of the cap, primer, battery, or primer powder.
  • It is unlawful to have a loaded firearm in, on, or leaning against any vehicle. This includes a muzzleloader ready to fire.