Maryland hunters harvested 87,541 deer during the bow, muzzleloader and firearm seasons combined (September 7, 2012 through January 31, 2013). The harvest shows an 11 percent decline compared to last year’s total of 98,029 deer. Biologists attribute the drop to multiple factors, including reduced hunter participation, an abundant acorn crop that changed deer movements, and a lower deer population in some areas.
“Deer hunters have enjoyed record harvests over the previous four seasons and the decline the results did not come as a surprise,” said Brian Eyler, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deer project leader.
The 2012-2013 statewide harvest includes:
- 29,366 antlered and 55,763 antlerless white-tailed deer
- 1,127 antlered and 1,285 antlerless sika deer
The harvest in deer management Region A (Garrett, Allegany, and western Washington counties) declined 16 percent from 10,358 deer last year, to 8,675 deer this year. Region A hunters reported 5,043 antlered and 3,632 antlerless deer.
Deer hunters in Region B (the remainder of the State) harvested 78,866, down 10 percent from last year’s 87,671 deer. The Region B harvest was comprised of 25,450 antlered and 53,416 antlerless deer.
Hunters harvested 6,255 deer on the Sundays open for deer hunting. Archery hunters harvested 1,172 deer on Sundays, while firearm hunters reported 5,083.
Frederick County led the harvest totals this year with 7,634 deer, followed by Baltimore County with 5,991 and Washington County at 5,762. Montgomery County and Carroll County completed the top five counties with 5,598 and 5,579 deer, respectively.
Image courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service