News from the DNR Office of Communications

Early Muzzleloader Season Opens For Deer

Annapolis, Md. (October 14, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the first portion of the Muzzleloader Deer Season will open statewide on October 21. The October Muzzleloader Season is one of several deer hunting opportunities DNR offers each year to provide outdoor recreation to Marylanders and to meet deer management goals.

“Maryland’s muzzleloader hunting season is an important component of our deer management strategy,” said DNR’s Deer Project Leader, Brian Eyler. “Last year the October Muzzleloader Season accounted for 58 percent of the total muzzleloader harvest for the year.”

Deer hunting regulations vary between the two Deer Management Regions in Maryland. Region A consists of Garrett and Allegany counties and, new this year, the western portion of Washington County (land codes 250 & 251 and the public hunting lands within those units). Region B includes the eastern portion of Washington County (land code 252) and the remaining 20 counties. The details of this change can be found on page 45 of the 2010-2011 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

In Region A, the October segment of the Muzzleloader Season runs from October 21–23. The Region B early Muzzleloader Season for white-tailed deer has two portions. The October 21-23 segment allows antlered or antlerless deer to be taken while the October 25-30 portion is for antlerless deer only.

The sika deer early Muzzleloader Season is open in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties from October 21-23. Muzzleloader sika deer hunters may take one sika deer (antlered or antlerless) during those dates. An antlered sika deer is defined as a deer with at least one antler visible above the hairline.

New this year: Sika deer may be hunted with a muzzleloader during the October 25–30 antlerless-only Muzzleloader Season segment. One antlerless sika deer may be taken during these later dates.

Note: The 2010-2011 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping contains a misprint on page 47 regarding the type of deer allowed during the three-day muzzleloader season in Region B. It should read, “Only one antlered deer may be taken during the October 21–23 muzzleloader season on either public or private lands in Region B.” DNR regrets any confusion this error may have caused.

Hunters are urged to carefully inspect all tree stands before using them. A full-body tree stand safety harness should be used while climbing into or out of a tree stand and while in the stand. DNR strongly recommends using a sliding knot, commonly known as a prussic knot, attached to a line that is secured above the stand that allows the hunter to be safely tethered to the tree as soon as they leave the ground. For more information on treestand safety, go to

Complete bag limits, season dates, deer registration procedures and other deer hunting information can be found in the 2010-2011 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping and on the DNR website at

   October 14, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at