Despite wind and rain hampering the overall weekend, hunters reported 8,061 deer were taken on opening day of the 2019 Maryland firearm season, Nov. 30.
The number represents a 29% increase over last year’s Saturday opener. The overall weekend harvest of 9,201 was down 9% from 2018 due to nearly non-stop rain and wind across the state on Sunday.
The 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 Dec. 14.
“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,” said Paul Peditto, Wildlife and Heritage Service director. “The strong antlerless harvest for the weekend is reassuring, and is vital for managing deer numbers in the state.”
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 Nov. 16–17. The harvest was 12% higher than the official harvest of 2,164 last year. Juniors registered 1,471 antlered and 952 antlerless deer.