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Welcome to another season of hunting and trapping in Maryland!

From the deep woods of bear country to the marshes of our world class waterfowl territory, hunting and trapping opportunities abound in Maryland.

Hunting is a valued part of our culture and heritage. It is an important conservation tool guided by our Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service using sound science to ensure an appropriate balance of wildlife population. We rely heavily on our partnership with Maryland’s sportsmen and sportswomen, who play an essential role in our efforts to protect wildlife and their habitats. The hunting and trapping information in this guide is founded in regulations and laws developed with your input.

Maryland is a great destination for hunting thanks to our location along major migration routes and our large swaths of protected forests, fields, and shorelines that provide the habitat that keeps our wildlife coming back. Hundreds of thousands of acres of varied terrain provide the backdrop in our wildlife management areas, state parks, and state forests, and we continue to acquire, conserve, and protect lands where generations of Marylanders can enjoy them.

Outdoor activities like hunting and trapping also provide great economic benefit to our state. Our Office of Outdoor Recreation at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working with local stakeholders in every part of Maryland to assist existing outdoor recreation businesses and attract new businesses to our state.

But of the utmost importance, we must inspire the next generation of hunters and diversify participation to ensure that Maryland’s great hunting and trapping traditions, along with our conservation ethic, is shared with future generations with equitable access for all.

Please be safe and enjoy your time afield this season, and consider introducing someone new so we can keep this heritage alive for years to come.

Greetings and welcome to another amazing year of opportunities for hunters in Maryland!

I would like to use this space to say thank you! Thank you to a number of individuals and groups who helped deliver remarkable wildlife conservation legislation this year.

Simply, SB 327/HB 983 is the most important and transformative initiative in nearly three decades in Maryland. The bill was principally sponsored by Senator Sarah Elfreth and Delegate Nick Allen, with strong support from Senator Jack Bailey.

The three members of the legislature were joined by dozens of hunting, conservation and animal advocacy organizations who offered their enthusiastic support for the proposal.

Although there were many others, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Maryland Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Hunters of Maryland truly lead the way and should be congratulated for their firm hand and unyielding attention throughout this effort.

Also, the volunteer members of the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Commission, especially the Chairman, were critically important in helping develop the ideas and outcomes borne of this legislation.

You can expect to see remarkable new initiatives and opportunities from the stateside funding and federal match associated with this effort. New recreational initiatives for hunting in Maryland will be married to fresh habitat projects supporting our diverse game and non-game species across the state.

We will also step up our work and deliver exciting new programs to support potential hunters, new hunters or former hunters. Finally, wildlife enthusiasts and individuals in communities we have historically failed to reach and engage will be offered the opportunity to learn more about the outdoors experience that so many of you already enjoy.

I am personally grateful to the many individuals and organizations who moved this forward. Their work opened new possibilities for wildlife conservation, wildlife recreation and hunting programs across our great state for decades to come. We are looking forward to delivering to that end.

Enjoy another wonderful season in the great outdoors of Maryland - and as always, have fun and hunt safely!