The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the January firearm deer hunting season opens Jan. 6, 2023, in Deer Management Region B, which includes all of the state except the westernmost counties. Hunters with a valid hunting license may use firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this season.
The winter firearm season is open Jan. 6-7 in all of Region B. The season is also open through Sunday, Jan. 8 on private and designated public lands in Cecil and St. Mary’s counties, and on private lands only in Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Washington (Zone 1), and Worcester counties. Shooting hours end at 10:30 a.m. in Kent and Montgomery counties.
During the two-week deer firearm hunting season firearms season that ended Dec. 10, 2022, hunters harvested 29,124 deer, a 10% increase from the previous year. “The January firearm season offers hunters a chance to get outside and harvest additional deer before the close of the season,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Beyond putting an extra deer in the freezer, the harvest favors antlerless deer this time of year and contributes to the management of a healthy deer population in Region B.”
Hunters are reminded that an antler-point restriction remains in effect. Deer hunters may harvest one antlered white-tailed deer within the yearly bag limit that does not meet the requirement of having at least three points on one antler. Any additional antlered deer taken within the established bag limit must meet the minimum point restriction. Licensed junior hunters and apprentice license holders, 16 years of age or younger, are exempt from this restriction.
During firearms season, Maryland requires deer hunters and their companions to wear daylight fluorescent orange or daylight fluorescent pink in one of the following manners: a cap of solid fluorescent daylight orange or pink, a vest or jacket containing back and front panels of at least 250 square inches of fluorescent daylight orange or pink, or an outer garment of camouflage daylight fluorescent orange or pink worn above the waist and containing at least 50 percent daylight fluorescent color. More information on the firearms season, along with season bag limits and other deer hunting regulations, are available in the 2022-2023 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.
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. 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, so hunters should check with their deer processor.