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What’s New for 2016-2017

Hunting Regulations Icon Maryland Hunting

  • The black bear hunting area has been expanded to include all of Frederick and Washington counties. Bear hunting will now be open in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties by permit only. The permits will continue to be issued by a lottery. See Black Bear Hunting for more details.
  • It remains illegal to hunt bears with the aid of bait, or to place bait or feed of any kind for bears. However, it is not considered to be hunting with the aid of bait if a hunter AND any bear that hunter shoots at are at least 150 yards from any bait the hunter knows or should have known is present. Salt and mineral supplements are not considered as a source of bait for this species.
  • It remains illegal to hunt turkeys with the aid of bait, or to place bait for turkeys during any turkey season. However, during the fall turkey season it is not considered to be hunting with the aid of bait if a hunter AND any turkey that hunter shoots at are at least 150 yards from any bait the hunter knows or should have known is present. Salt and mineral supplements are not considered as a source of bait for this species.
  • Bobwhite quail season has been shortened on DNR owned or controlled lands.
  • Sika deer hunting is no longer restricted to Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
  • At the request of the Caroline County Commissioners, breech-loading rifles may be used to hunt deer during the statewide deer firearms seasons in Caroline County.
  • Several changes have been made in response to the growing number of white-tailed deer testing positive for chronic wasting disease. See Chronic Wasting Disease in Maryland for more information on this deer disease in Maryland.
  • The maximum age for hunters participating on the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days has been increased from 15 to 16 years of age.
  • Legislation passed during the 2016 General assembly created several changes for hunters in Maryland:
    • The safety zone for archery hunters was changed to 50 yards in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties and 100 yards in Anne Arundel County. In Harford County, the safety zone for archers is now 50 yards, however, archers must use a tree stand when hunting within 50 to 100 yards of an occupied dwelling or other building.
    • Sunday hunting has been added for turkey hunting during the Junior Hunt and spring season in Carroll County on private land only.
    • The penalties for killing white-tailed and sika deer illegally were increased significantly in an effort to address poaching in Maryland.
  • The following State Parks will now require hunters to obtain the Free Central Region Public Hunting Permit (Managed Deer Hunting Programs): Susquehanna State Park, Patapsco Valley State Park, Morgan Run Natural Environment Area, Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area, and Elk Neck State Park. Hunters may contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office at:410-356-9272” or the Parks (see Public Hunting Lands) for more information.