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Maryland

Hunting

Small Game Hunting

Sunday Small Game Hunting 2022–2023

The following small game species may be hunted on all Sundays during their open seasons with these restrictions, in these counties and locations.

Eastern cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels, eastern fox squirrels, red squirrels, quail (closed in Garrett and Allegany counties), ruffed grouse and pheasants.

County

Location

Time Restriction

Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s and Washington

Private and designated public lands*

No special time restriction on Sundays

Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester and Queen Anne’s

Private lands only

Legal shooting hours on Sundays are from ½ hour before sunrise until 10:30 am

Somerset

Private lands and public land leased to a hunt club only

Legal shooting hours on Sundays are from ½ hour before sunrise until 10:30 am

* Designated public lands open to Sunday hunting in Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s and Washington counties are: Billmeyer-Belle Grove WMA, C&D Canal Lands, Cunningham Swamp WMA, Dan’s Mountain WMA, Earlville WMA, Garrett State Forest (SF), Green Ridge SF, Grove Farm WMA, Indian Springs WMA, McCoole FMA, Mount Nebo WMA, Old Bohemia WMA, Potomac SF, Prather’s Neck WMA, Saint Inigoes SF, Salem SF, Savage River SF, Sideling Hill WMA and Warrior Mountain WMA.

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. See the Sunday hunting chart for Sunday hours within certain counties.
  • 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 (Hunting Licenses) 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, Hunting Licenses).
  • 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 coyotes.

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, Hunting Licenses).

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 19 and 20, 2022. Application information, days, locations and other resources are available at: https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/hunt_trap/Mentored-Hunt-Program.aspx.

For additional information please use the web address listed above or contact Chris Markin at Christopher.Markin@maryland.gov.