Maryland Deer Season 2024: All the Information You Need!

It is evident for those of us who have valued the age-old tradition of hunting a deer in Maryland’s magnificent surroundings. It is more than simply a seasonal activity; it is an integral part of our cultural history and way of life. Maryland have access to possibilities for archery, muzzleloader, and firearms seasons, all of which are governed by the meticulous rules of the MDDNR.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the heart of the latest season, providing a wealth of information on season dates, bag limits, licenses, and the essential regulations that shape our cherished outdoor tradition.

Maryland Deer Season Dates

Statewide White-tailed-(Antlered)

Archery8-Sep – 18-Oct1 Antlered
 22-Oct – 23-Oct
 23-Oct – 24-Nov
 11-Dec – 15-Dec
 31-Dec – 1-Jan
 1-Jan – 4-Jan
 5-Jan – 7-Jan
 8-Jan – 31-Jan
Muzzleloader19-Oct – 21-Oct
 16-Dec – 30-Dec
Firearm25-Nov – 9-Dec
 5-Jan-  6-Jan
 7-Jan – 7-Jan
Primitive Hunt Days1-Feb – 3-Feb 


  • The statewide normal bag limit for antlered white-tailed is two overall, with a maximum of one per weapon season.
  • The October 19–November 21, 2023 muzzleloader season is exempt from the Bonus Antlered Stamp’s application.
  • Only in Region B is the Firearm Season available in January. Only in Region A is the Archery game available during these times. On these days, Region B may use archery equipment, but any deer taken must be included in the firearm season bag limit.
  • Days for Primitive Hunting: On these days, hunters may use long bows, recurve bows, flintlocks, or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders. Telescopic or contemporary optics cannot be used. Long and recurve bows used to harvest antlerless count against the standard archery bag limit. The standard muzzleloader bag restriction applies to antlerless deer taken with flintlock or sidelock percussion muzzleloaders.
  • The longest window of opportunity is during the archery seasons.

White-tailed Antlerless (Region-A)

Region-ADatesBag Limit
Archery8-Sep – 18-Oct1 Antlerless and combind limit of 2
 22-Oct – 24-Nov
 11-Dec – 15-Dec
 31-Dec – 31-Jan
Muzzleloader19-Oct – 21-Oct
 19-Oct – 21-Oct
All Other Lands28-Dec – 30-Dec
All Other Lands8-Dec – 9-Dec
Primitive Hunt Days (See Notes)1-Feb – 3-Feb1 Antlerless and combind limit of 1

White-tailed Antlerless (Region-B)

 TypeDatesBag Limit
ArcheryAntlerless8-Sep – 18-OctA total bag limit of 15 Antlerless
 23-Oct – 24-Nov
 11-Dec – 15-Dec
 1-Jan – 4-Jan
 8-Jan – 31-Jan
MuzzleloaderAntlerless Only23-Oct – 28-OctA bag limit of 3 deer, no more than 1 antlered
 Antlered or Antlerless19-Oct – 21-Oct
 16-Dec – 30-Dec
 25-Nov – 9-Dec
 5-Jan – 6-Jan
Primitive Hunt Days1-Feb – 3-Feb

Junior Hunt (Antlered & Antlerless )

Junior GameDatesRegionBag Limit
White-tailed (Antlered/ Antlerless)Nov 11 – Nov 12Region A1
Region B3  (max 1 antlered)
Sika Deer (Antlered/ Antlerless)Where Available1

MD Sika Deer

SikaTypeHunt DatesBag Limit
ArcheryAntlered or AntlerlessSep 8 – Oct 183 deer, no more than 1 antlered
 Oct 22 (Sunday)
 Oct 23 – Nov 24
 Dec 11 – Dec 15
 Dec 31 (Sunday)
 Jan 1 – Jan 4
 Jan 8 – 31
FirearmNov 25 – Dec 9
 Jan 5 – Jan 6
 Jan 7 (Sunday)
Primitive Hunt DaysFeb 1 – 3
MuzzleloaderOct 19 – Oct 21
 Dec 16 – Dec 30
 Antlerless OnlyOct 23 – 28 (Region B only)

Bag Limits

The Maryland regions (Region A or B), seasons, and permit types all have different bag restrictions. Highlights of the luggage limit include:

  • Statewide, there are two antlered deer every season in all seasons.
  • Archery, muzzleloader, and firearms seasons: 2 antlerless (Region A) every season
  • Sika Deer: 3 per season, no more than one antlered; Antlerless (Region B): 10 per season for guns and muzzleloader season, 15 during archery season 

During the archery season, additional antlerless deer may be taken in Region B of the Suburban Management Zone. Different bag limitations apply to junior hunters, apprentices, and exempt hunters as well. Review the rules in detail.

Hunting Licenses

You need a current hunting license as well as any necessary stamps or permits. Maryland provides licenses for residents and non-residents:

License TypeResident PriceNon-Resident Price
Resident Big Game License$25 $150
Non-Resident Big Game License--
Resident Junior License$10 -
Resident Senior License$5 -
Stamps and PermitsResident PriceNon-Resident Price
Archery Stamp$6 $25
Muzzleloader Stamp$6 $25
Bonus Antlered Deer Stamp$10 $25
Apprentice License$15 $80

Before going on your hunt, thoroughly review the hunting license exemptions.

Hunting Regulations

  • Hunter orange clothing required during firearms seasons
  • Restrictions on Sunday hunting in certain counties
  • Antler point restrictions on antlered deer
  • Proper field tagging and checking of harvest is mandatory.
  • Restrictions on baiting throughout seasons
  • Prohibition on hunting deer while swimming/taking refuge in water

Different laws apply to crossbows, muzzleloaders, weapons, and archery equipment. For complete information, always consult the Maryland Hunting Regulations Guide. Regulation violations may result in fines, license suspensions, and the seizure of deer that have been harvested.

Regional Differences Across Maryland

The state’s 29 Wildlife Management Districts provide for a wide range of laws. For instance:

  • Bag limits differ between Region A and B
  • Certain firearms have regional restrictions
  • Antlerless permits allotments vary regionally
  • Some public lands have additional rules

To learn about season guidelines, gun regulations, Sunday hunting days, and other regional variances, be sure to do research on the exact district and county where you want to hunt.

Navigating Maryland’s Deer Transportation Laws: A Hunter’s Guide

As a seasoned hunter, I’ve come to appreciate the significance of understanding the transportation laws governing the harvest. In a state with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), hunters must know carcass importation laws before transferring corpses. Maryland doesn’t define deer transportation, but hunters on the Maryland Shooters Forum have given me realistic ideas. At least two layers of heavy-duty plastic yard bags or mattress wraps should be used to secure the animal in the trunk.

Hunters must report their harvests within 24 hours and tag the deer immediately. The regulations also require careful alignment with Maryland’s Chronic Wasting Disease Management Area or use of approved Maryland processors or taxidermists when importing whole deer, elk, or moose carcasses from other states or provinces.

Field Dressing

Once you tag, the hunt is not over. Quality venison is ensured by proper field dressing and transportation:

  • Field dress deer promptly to cool body cavity and prevent meat spoilage
  • Wear rubber gloves and avoid puncturing organs while field dressing
  • Tag according to MD DNR regulations before transporting
  • Keep the harvest cool during transport from the field 
  • Consult your regional DNR office with any transport questions

Apply for Maryland Managed Hunts

The Maryland DNR conducts controlled deer hunt programs via an application procedure to aid with the management of deer populations in certain locations. Typical possibilities for controlled hunts include:

  • Gunpowder Falls State Park hunts near Baltimore County
  • Anne Arundel County managed hunts on certain parks
  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center hunt in Anne Arundel County

Additional Resources for Maryland Deer Hunters

My Advice for Finding the Best Public Land Spots

My experience hunting on public lands all around Maryland has taught me that the greatest areas are those where pressure and deer sign are balanced. Look for state forest locations that are off the beaten path, close to recent wood harvests, or tucked away on a piece of land that other hunters would pass by. Be prepared to trek, arrive early, and properly scout the area. Public lands may generate with effort.

Public Land Spot LocationAcreageDeer Hunting
Baltimore/Carroll County ReservoirsBaltimore and Carroll counties-Yes
Green Ridge State ForestAllegany County47,000 acresYes
Dan's Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA)Allegany County9,000 acresYes
Rocky Gap State ParkAllegany County3,000 acresYes
Big Run State ParkGarrett County2,000 acresYes
Eastern Shore--Yes
Savage River State ForestGarrett County54,000 acresYes

Why It Pays to Know Your Deer Biology

Over the years, a deep understanding of the biology and behavior of Maryland’s deer population has proven invaluable in my quest for mature bucks. I’ve been able to deliberately place deer funnels and paths by being acquainted with their favorite foods, rut peaks, nocturnal proclivities, moon phases, and bedding routines.

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Mock Scrapes

Maryland uses deftly placed mimic scrapes that are properly cleaned of leaves and smelled along walkways and field boundaries to improve the rut experience. This easy-to-use but powerful technique will attract deer to your game location. You can draw deer all day long in Maryland’s varied hunting terrain by often replenishing these scrapes and learning how to control the wind..

My Approach to the Firearm Season Orange Requirement

Despite Maryland’s need for visible orange clothing during gun seasons, I’ve come up with a plan to reduce my visibility while in the treestand. I choose to wear an orange helmet and vest rather than a whole orange suit. Orange things may be hidden under tree limbs and branches to blend in and not attract attention from Maryland’s wary deer.

Reasons to always carry a good knife

A dependable, sharp knife is essential in the field for jobs like field dressing and trimming shooting lanes. Blades that are dull may make field dressing much more difficult, particularly in the diverse hunting landscape of Maryland. Before each season, it’s crucial to make an investment in a sharp knife, have a backup on available, and meticulously maintain the edges. You may have a long way to go to get out of Maryland’s forests, but you will surely appreciate your thoughtfulness in making sure your knife is capable of the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the deer hunting season dates in Maryland?

The extended archery season runs from September 9 to December 9, , while the normal season runs from September 30 to October 27. The muzzleloader season runs from November 25 to December 2 for the whole state and from December 11 to 16 for the area. The youth hunt is set for October 21–22, while the weapons season is from November 27 to December 9. These dates provide hunters in Maryland a variety of possibilities to engage in deer hunting all season long.

What is the bag limit for deer in Maryland?

All hunting seasons in the state allow hunters to take down a maximum of two antlerless deer each season. The bag limit for antlerless in Region A is two per season, which includes the archery, muzzleloader, and weapons seasons. During the guns and muzzleloader seasons in Region B, hunters are permitted to harvest up to 10 antlerless, and during the archery season, up to 15. Additionally, there is a one-antlered Sika deer limit and a three-deer bag limit every season .

With additional antlerless permits or specialty permits like the Bonus Antlered Stamp, you can take more deer. For young hunters, apprentices, and exempt hunters, there are various bag limitations.

What license do I need to hunt deer in Maryland?

A current hunting license, such as the resident large game license ($25) or the non-resident big game license ($150), is required to hunt in Maryland. The archery, muzzleloader, and bonus antlerless stamps, if purchased, are required stamps/permits. For beginner hunters, there are apprentice permits available. Some hunters are not required to have licenses.

Can I use rifles to hunt deer in Maryland?

During firearms seasons, deer hunting is permitted statewide in Maryland using straight-walled rifle cartridges. Bottlenecked centerfire rifles, however, may only be used in a few places, mostly in the counties around the western and eastern shores.

When is Sunday hunting allowed in Maryland?

Only in some counties and areas is Sunday deer hunting allowed. For instance, at that time of year, Sundays are permitted for archery in various counties along the central and eastern coast. Certain counties, including Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George’s, prohibit hunting on Sundays. Verify the laws.

Where are good public lands to deer hunt in Maryland?

Pocomoke Forest in Worcester, Green Ridge State Forest in Allegany, Savage River State Forest in Garrett, Cunningham Falls State Park in Frederick, and Janes Island State Park in Somerset are some of the best public properties for deer shooting. To locate public hunting grounds in your chosen area, get in touch with the Maryland DNR.

James Ellis

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