Opening Weekend Of Firearm Season Records 20% Increase

BERLIN — Maryland deer hunters reported 19,054 deer for the opening weekend of the 2009 firearm season, a 20-percent increase over last year’s opening weekend harvest of 15,880 deer.

The total included 8,072 antlered deer and 10,982 antlerless deer. Sika deer comprised 218 of the antlered and 221 of the antlerless deer totals.

“Windy conditions on Saturday may have slowed the harvest slightly, but hunters took advantage of better conditions on Sunday and posted a strong overall harvest for the weekend,” said DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service Deer Project Leader Brian Eyler.

Hunters in Region A (Garrett and Allegany counties) reported 1,336 deer for the weekend, nearly identical to the 1,328 deer reported last year. The Region B antlered harvest increased from 5,668 deer last year to 6,771 deer this year, while the antlerless harvest increased from 8,884 deer to 10,947 deer in 2009.  

Deer hunters harvested 4,877 deer (1,887 antlered, 2,990 antlerless) on Sunday.  Deer hunting is permitted on selected Sundays in 19 counties on private land only. In Frederick County, where Sunday hunting was permitted for the first time this year, hunters reported 521 deer on Sunday and 2,005 deer total for the weekend; up 26% over last year’s Saturday-only harvest of 1,598 deer.

“Sunday hunting continues to afford hunters more opportunities to share time with friends and family while providing them a sustainable local source of food,” said Eyler. “Plus, the additional harvest helps the Department manage the state’s deer population for the benefit of all citizens.”

The two-week deer firearm season runs through Saturday, Dec. 12.