The Maryland Department of Natural Resources encourages experienced deer hunters to take advantage of the upcoming Junior Deer Hunting Days to introduce youth to this time-honored cultural and sporting tradition.
The Junior Deer Hunt is open on private and designated public land in all counties on November 13. The is also open on Sunday, November 14 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George’s. Also on November 14, junior hunters in Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties, may hunt on designated public lands.
“The Junior Deer Hunt remains a very popular season with our youth hunters and is a perfect time for new hunters to spend time in the woods with a mentor,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The weather is mild and deer activity is peaking during this time. It is prime time for adult mentors to pass along the necessary lessons on safety, skills, and the traditions of hunting and shooting sports.”
Hunters 16 years of age or younger who possess a valid license may use air guns or firearms that meet the regulatory requirements to hunt sika and white-tailed deer these days. Youth must be accompanied by an adult, at least 21 years old, holding a valid Maryland hunting license. Adults may serve as mentors only and not possess a hunting device while accompanying a junior hunter.
Hunters who are not serving as mentors for a junior deer hunter may participate in other open hunting seasons during the junior deer hunt days. All deer hunters, archery, and non-deer hunters must wear the required hunter orange or pink during the youth hunt dates.
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 regular archery, firearm, or muzzleloader bag limits. They are also exempt from the antler point restriction.
Hunters should carefully inspect all tree stands and always wear a full-body safety harness while in the stand and while climbing in or out of it. The department strongly recommends using a sliding knot, commonly known as a prusik 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 encouraged to help others by donating deer taken in Maryland. A state tax credit offers hunters an incentive for donated deer. Other local or state programs are also available, hunters should check with their deer processors for details.