Deer season sees uptick in harvest statewide

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported 8,061 deer taken on opening day of the 2019 Maryland firearm season, Nov. 30.

This represents a 29 percent increase over last year’s Saturday opener. The overall weekend harvest of 9,201 was down 9 percent from 2018 due to nearly non-stop rain and wind across the state on Sunday.

In WIcomico County for the weekend, 335 whitetail deer were killed, with 12 sika deer also bagged.

Worcester County reported that 501 whitetails and three sika deer were killed. Hunters in Somerset bagged 298 deer for the weekend.

The state harvest total includes 4,248 antlered and 4,953 antlerless deer, including 147 antlered and 126 antlerless sika deer. The two-week deer firearm season runs through this Saturday.

“Rain once again plagued hunters this year for part of the opening weekend, but many hunters took advantage of a dry Saturday and were still able to put venison in the freezer,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said.

“The strong antlerless harvest for the weekend is reassuring, and is vital for managing deer numbers in the state,” he said.

Hunters in Region A — Allegany, Garrett, and western Washington counties — harvested 878 antlered deer. Hunters in Region B — the rest of the state — harvested 3,370 antlered and 4,953 antlerless deer.

Junior hunters enjoyed excellent deer hunting weather and harvested 2,423 deer during the Junior Deer Hunt Days on Nov. 16-17.

The harvest was 12 percent higher than the official harvest of 2,164 last year. Juniors registered 1,471 antlered and 952 antlerless deer.

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