Young Hunters Can Learn Sporting Skills and Traditions
The hunt will be held Nov. 10 on private and designated public land in all counties, and Nov. 11 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard and Prince George’s. In Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, the hunt is also open on designated public lands Nov. 11.
“The Junior Deer Hunt provides the opportunity for adult mentors to pass on the skills and traditions of hunting and shooting sports to today’s youth, instilling an appreciation of our natural resources,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said.
Hunters 16 years of age or younger who possess a valid license may use air guns or firearms that meet department standards to hunt sika and white-tailed deer on these days. Youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old, who holds a valid hunting license. Adults may not possess a hunting device while accompanying a junior hunter, but may participate in other open seasons if they are not acting as a mentor.
The bag limits for the Junior Deer Hunt Days are:
- One antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer in Region A;
- Three white-tailed deer in Region B, with no more than one antlered; and
- One antlered or one antlerless sika deer.
Deer taken by youth hunters during the two days do not count toward the regular archery, firearm or muzzleloader bag limits. They are also exempt from the antler point restriction.
Season dates, bag limits, hunting regulations and registration procedures can be found in the Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping.
Hunters should carefully inspect all tree-stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while climbing in or out and while in the stand. The department 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.
Hunters are also reminded of the daylight fluorescent orange and fluorescent pink requirements. Both hunters and companions must wear either a cap of solid fluorescent orange or pink and a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange or pink or an outer garment of camouflage fluorescent orange or pink worn above the waist, which contains at least 50 percent fluorescent color.
Maryland hunters are encouraged to donate any extra deer they may harvest to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Last year, the program provided more than 650,000 venison meals to community food banks and other efforts. New this year, Maryland hunters may claim a tax credit for donated processed venison. Hunters who legally harvest a deer and pay to have that deer processed and donated to a nonprofit food sharing program may take a credit of up to $50 per processed deer on their taxes. The maximum credit in any one tax year is $200 per hunter. The approved form to help facilitate the process is available here.