Cumberland Times-News

September 1, 2012

I hope they like deer meat

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News

— If you are like me, you pay a lot more attention to deer hunting regulations for Region A (Garrett, Allegany and part of Washington counties) than you do to those for Region B (everything else in Maryland).

In case you didn’t pick up on it, bowhunters this year will be allowed to kill as many does as they choose in Region B. Check your 2012 Maryland Guide to Hunting & Trapping on page 35 and you will find a description of the line that separates the two regions. It is a series of roads between the Pennsylvania state line and the Potomac River.

If you hunt west of that line, you are limited to one doe with your bow, one with your muzzleloader and one with your favorite deer rifle.

If you hunt east of that line, you can shoot an infinite number of does with your bow, be it vertical or crossbow, as well as 10 does with your muzzleloader and 10 does with a modern firearm (rifle/shotgun).

So, if you live in Almost Maryland, but want to go to The Real Maryland to hunt with your bow, be sure to rent a U-Haul so you can bring back all the meat you will acquire.

 Why the big difference? Are does swarming over the land from Clear Spring eastward in lemming-like fashion, devouring everything in sight?

The hunting license costs the same whether you buy it and use it in Friendsville or Bethesda.

Why are Almost Marylanders allowed to take just three antlerless deer?

“Region B has a much higher deer density than Region A,” said Harry Spiker of the Wildlife & Heritage Service. “Region A has fewer deer and more efficient hunters, so that enters the picture as well.”

For several years, archers have been able to take unlimited does in a few urban/suburban counties.

“We found that there were a few hunters taking 10 or so antlerless deer, but the average per hunter was fewer than two,” Spiker said. “It’s self-regulating.”

No special permit is needed beforehand in Region B to bag a bunch of does. You can just kill them and check them in via your license. Season dates have to be adhered to, of course.

Agricultural damage from deer is a consideration in Region B as well, Spiker said, especially in Southern Maryland counties such as Prince George’s, Calvert and St. Mary’s.

If you are a Maryland resident looking for a lot of deer meat and you don’t want to buy a license from another state, this might be the time to drive eastward and start knocking on some farmhouse doors.

The bow season begins Friday.

The buck limit now applies statewide. In other words, there are not separate buck limits for each region. No matter where in the state you kill them, you are allowed one buck for each weapon season, a total of three.

Region B, however, allows for the purchase of a bonus buck tag that can be used in any of the three seasons.