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Greetings Hunters and Trappers:

Welcome to another season of hunting and trapping in Maryland!

Maryland remains one of the most remarkable and varied landscapes in the country, with an incredible variety of habitats providing world-class outdoor recreation and hunting experiences. We are committed to providing and expanding access to all who wish to enjoy Maryland’s outdoors, from the salt marshes of the Eastern Shore to the upland fields of Central Maryland to the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. Hunting and trapping opportunities abound in hundreds of thousands of acres in our wildlife management areas, state parks, and state forests, and we continue to acquire, conserve, and protect additional properties where Marylanders can enjoy them.

To further support and enhance opportunities across the state, we announced the creation of Maryland’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Our new outdoor recreation team is working to implement the recommendations of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission, assist existing outdoor recreation businesses, and attract new businesses to our state.

We are grateful to Maryland’s sportsmen and women who play an important role in our efforts to protect wildlife and their habitats. The hunting and trapping regulations in this guide are developed with your input along with public engagement. DNR’s expertise and scientific field observations also guide these decisions. We are proud to reiterate our commitment to scientific integrity, day-to-day operations, and good customer service.

Additionally, we have done extensive work to inspire the next generation of hunters and diversify participation in recreational fishing and hunting through stakeholder engagement and development of a recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) plan. Together, we are working to ensure that Maryland’s great hunting and trapping traditions, along with our conservation ethic, is shared with future generations.

Whether your interest is in the marsh, field or forest, hill or mountain top, Maryland has many things to offer! Please enjoy your time afield this season and remember to share your stories with us and others, including your own game recipes that can be submitted to our new online cookbook, Wild Maryland. And consider introducing someone new so we can keep this important heritage alive for years to come.

Have a wonderful and safe season and enjoy your travels across our great landscape!

Larry Hogan
Governor of the State of Maryland

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio
Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Greetings Maryland Hunters and Trappers:

I am pleased to welcome the 2022–2023 hunting year! Our team has been working hard to ensure your experiences afield will be enjoyable, safe and successful. We look forward to sharing the remarkable variety of opportunities available across Maryland with you and hope the anticipation of another hunting year is as exciting for you as it is for all of us.

In this edition of the Guide to Hunting and Trapping, you will find several changes to our seasons and bag limits. As always, these decisions are founded on sound science. Equally important to this effort is extensive and collaborative public engagement supported by many key stakeholder organizations. The process to develop the latest package of regulations included more than six months of public outreach with several dozen organizations and concluded with more than 1200 individual citizen comments. We are grateful for everyone who took the time to participate in that process, your input truly helped guide us in the development of this latest regulatory framework.

I also want to thank the many individuals and organizations who volunteer to support our mission and operations on a daily basis. These individuals support us in many ways — including gathering and entering ecological data, assisting with public lands habitat management, educating and mentoring our future outdoor enthusiasts, and guiding us during complex policy discussions. There are far too many individuals and groups to list here but I will take a moment to single out the citizen volunteers who serve our Wildlife Advisory Commission. This nine-member body meets with our team monthly and with little public attention or celebration, plays a critical role in helping us navigate the work of our agency and the outcomes all of us enjoy in the field. We are fortunate that these women and men, past and present, volunteer their time and attention to support our mission.

Finally, the past two years were particularly challenging. Although the pandemic has subsided, I remain personally grateful to the staff of the Wildlife and Heritage Service who pulled us through the challenges of the recent past and delivered on our conservation mission during the most difficult times. I am proud to say that our staff worked hard to maintain our scientific integrity, day-to-day operations, and commitment to customer service excellence throughout this unprecedented challenge.

In closing, and as a reminder, I urge you to take someone new into the field this year and introduce them to the passion that drives you to be out there. Now more than ever, it is critical that we support the development of the next generation of hunters, trappers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Thank you for your support of our mission and team — wishing you a safe and successful season afield!

Paul A. Peditto
Director of the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service