Skip to main content



Small Game Hunting

Small Game Includes: crows, pheasant, quail, rabbits, ruffed grouse and squirrels.

The Delmarva fox squirrel and snowshoe hare may not be hunted in Maryland.

General Small Game Hunting Rules

  • Daily small game shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.
  • A hunter must carry personal photo identification (such as a driver’s license) or a secondary form of positive identification while hunting.
  • Written permission is required to hunt on private land.
  • A hunting license is required to hunt small game (with exceptions). See Hunting Licenses, Stamps and Permits for Armed Forces information and hunting license costs, exceptions, purchasing, requirements and types.
  • Daylight fluorescent color clothing is required to hunt small game except crows (see Fluorescent Color Clothing Requirements and Exceptions).
  • The use of decoys, calls and/or recordings may be used for crow hunting.
  • It is against the law to hunt any animal other than deer on the first day of Deer Firearms Season, except sea ducks in the Sea Duck Zone.

Small Game Hunting Devices and Regulations

  • Firearms, archery equipment and air guns that shoot bullets, arrows or bolts may be used to hunt small game.
  • Shotguns cannot hold more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells must be plugged with a one-piece filler which cannot be removed from the loading end.
  • Telescopic and laser sights may be used on all devices legal for hunting small game.
  • It is illegal to have a loaded air gun or firearm in, on or leaning against any vehicle. This includes ammunition in the magazine or a muzzleloader ready to fire.
  • All crossbows should have a working safety.
  • It is unlawful to have a loaded crossbow in, on or leaning against any vehicle. A cocked crossbow without a bolt or arrow in the firing position is considered to be unloaded.
  • It is illegal to shoot on, from or across any public road.
  • It is unlawful to cast the rays of an artificial light from a vehicle on woods, fields, orchards, livestock, wild mammals or birds, dwellings or buildings (see General Regulations for exceptions).

Special Opportunity For New, Lapsed And Youth Hunters: Stocked Pheasant Hunts

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will once again be offering “do-it-yourself” hunts for stocked pheasants. Apprentice license holders, junior license holders, new hunters and hunters who have previously held a Maryland hunting license but have let it lapse are eligible to apply. The pheasant hunts will take place on public lands across the state on November 20 and 21, 2021. Application information, days, locations and other resources are available at:

For additional information please use the web address listed above or contact Chris Markin at 410-221-8838 or Christopher.