Maryland Hunting

Learn More

Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Maryland is one of the best hunting locations in the Northeast of the USA. The state is known for both its great landscape and also the presence of game animals for hunters to take. Some of the most common games in Maryland are deer, black bears, turkey, waterfowl, and furbearer games. There are also a lot of small game animals in the state.

Maryland Hunting Regulations

Hunters that want to take game animals in Maryland must abide by the state hunting laws, regulations, and requirements provided by the state department for natural resources.

Some of the most important hunting regulations in Maryland include the following

General Hunting Laws and Prohibition

Maryland hunting requirements and unlawful hunting activities prohibited in Maryland include the following:

  • Hunters are required to have in their possession a photo identification card such as a driver’s license or any other valid means of identification accepted in Maryland while hunting.
  • Hunters must be in possession of a state valid hunting license while hunting in the state. The license should either be in an electronic or hardcopy printed format.
  • Hunters must respect the orange dressing requirement for the season it is appropriate for.
  • It is a prohibition to take game animals or birds while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.
  • It is a prohibition to take any game animals that are not deer on the starting day of the deer firearm season. Exceptions to this prohibition are allowed for harvesting sea ducks in the sea duck zone.

Use of Artificial Lights from Vehicles.

It is a prohibition of hunting laws in Maryland to illuminate artificial light from vehicles on residential homes, orchards, game animals and birds, livestock, farming lands, or woods in the name of hunting.

In counties like Prince George, Montgomery, and Baltimore, you are allowed to illuminate artificial light from vehicles on wildlife and games until 9 pm at night, only for observation or taking photographs. However, it is a prohibition to have any hunting weapon or device in possession while casting artificial lights in these counties.

Maryland Safety Hunting Zones

It is a prohibition to discharge a firearm, take or trap wildlife within a distance of at least 150 yards away from a residential building or camp where people live without obtaining permission from the occupant of the building.

For archery hunting, the safety distance required is 100 yards in Anne Arundel County, and 50 yards in counties like Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, St. Mary, and Washington.

In Harford, Washington, and Montgomery, hunters making use of archery devices are required to hunt from tree stands if they are within the distance of between 50 to 100 yards of any structure that people occupy.

It is a prohibition to discharge firearms within a distance of about 300 yards in public areas or school areas in the name of hunting. But this prohibition is only for regular school hours and when building structures are occupied. Also, hunters should note that this regulation does not affect home schools, colleges, and universities in Maryland.

For trapping in Maryland, it is a prohibition to illegally touch a catch from traps that have been lawfully set within a hunting area.

Hunting on Maine Private Lands

To hunt or set traps on private land areas of Maine you need a written permission from the landowner. The only exception to this regulation is if you are the landowner.

Liabilities for Hunting on Private Lands in Maryland

You will be held liable for any damage that occurs to private properties while hunting on private land. Also, the owner of the land cannot be responsible for any injury or damage that happens to a hunter, either accidental or not, regardless of if the landowner gives permission to hunt on the property or not. Hunters are advised to obtain the needed knowledge on all laws concerning hunting on private properties in Maryland.

Restriction for Hunting on Private Lands in Maine

Landowners that want to restrict hunters from taking games and wildlife on their lands can make use of visible signs. In this case, it is a prohibition for a hunter to proceed to take game animals on the land, hence the hunter can be charged for trespassing.

Maryland permits landowners to use blue stripes and signs to restrict movement in their properties. Vertical signs should have a minimum of 2 inches width and 8 inches length and be at the center (a minimum of 3 feet, but should not exceed 6 feet) from the water or ground areas. The color accepted for this sign is bright blue and its paint must be oil-based.

Maryland Lands Regulations

Some of the regulations for hunting in state owned lands include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to shoot at targets on state-owned land, except in designated parts of the land where it is permitted.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of tree stands or hunting blinds on state-owned lands or other properties that are controlled. Exceptions are allowed for those with permits from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the blinds or tree stand must be temporary and removed at the end of a hunting period.
  • It is a prohibition to set traps on state-owned lands without obtaining permission from the agency in charge.
  • It is illegal to set baits on state hunting lands.

Open Carry While Hunting in The State.

Yes, you can open carry during a legal hunting activity in Maryland.

Although you can open carry while bow hunting in the state, you must meet the following requirements to do so:

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old.
  • You must carry the firearm for personal protection.
  • You cannot openly carry a firearm to take a wildlife animal while bow hunting in the state.
  • Maryland has hunter harassment for the protection of such activities in the state.
  • They include the following:
  • Nobody shall open carry on private land, or hunting areas under the state government, without permission.
  • Nobody shall deliberately interfere with any legal hunting activity in any wildlife area of the state.
  • Nobody shall harass or disturb any wildlife animal to prevent lawful hunting activity in the state.

Maryland Hunting Licenses, Permits, and Tags.

Maryland issues hunting licenses based on residency, and the age of an applicant. Permits and tags in the state are available for specific game animals. For some game hunting seasons, hunters will need the combination of both the state hunting license as well as permits and tags.

Hunting licenses permits and tags issued in Maryland include the following:

Residents Apprentice Hunting License

This license is available for residents of Maryland that have never possessed a state valid license. The license is valid for residents of any age. Apprentice hunters will only be allowed to hunt games in the company of licensed Maryland hunters that are at least 18 years old. Residents' apprentice license costs $10.

Residents Regular Hunting License

This license is available for residents of Maryland that are between the ages of 16 and 64. Holders of the license will be allowed to take part in specific game seasons as long as they possess the permit. The license costs $24.5.

Residents Junior Hunting License

This license is issued to junior residents in Maryland that are under the age of 16 years old. Before juniors can apply for this license, they need permission in written format from either parents or guardians. The license costs $10.5

Senior Residents Hunting License

The license is available for senior residents of the state that are 65 years or older. The senior resident can purchase this license in the year he or she will be 65 years old. It costs $5.

Non-Residents Apprentice Hunting License

This license is available for non-residents that have never possessed a state valid license. The license is valid for non-residents of any age. Apprentice hunters will only be allowed to hunt games in the company of licensed Maryland hunters that are at least 18 years old. Non-residents apprentice license costs $20.

Non-residents Hunting License

This license is available for non-residents that are between the ages of 16 and 64. Holders of the license will be allowed to take part in specific game seasons as long as they possess the permit. The license costs $130.

Non-residents Junior Hunting License

This license is issued to junior non-residents that are under the age of 16 years old and want to hunt in Maryland. Before juniors can apply for this license, they need permission in written format from either parents or guardians. The license costs $32.5.

Non-residents Senior Hunting License

The license is available for senior non-residents that are 65 years or older. The senior resident can purchase this license in the year he or she will be 65 years old. It costs $65.

Non-residents Three Days Waterfowl and Small Game License

This license is available to non-residents and will allow them to take all possible games in Maryland for 3 consecutive hunting days. Games that are exempted from this license are deer, turkeys, and bears. It costs $45.

Non-residents Trapping License

Non-residents need this license to trap furbearers in Maryland. However, they will also need a furbearer permit and a non-resident hunting license in addition to this trapping license. It costs $25.5

Regulated Shooting Area License

In addition to a hunting license, hunters need regulated shooting area licenses to be able to take bird games that are raised in captivity. This license costs $6.

Maryland Fishing Licenses, Permits and Tags.

Fishing licenses, permits and tags available in Maryland include the following:

Annual Non-Tidal Fishing Licenses

This license makes it possible to fish in non-tidal water bodies in Maryland. It is available for residents at a cost of $20.5 and for non-residents at $30 minimum, or the same cost that the state charges as an out-of-state fishing license for Maryland residents.

Seven Days Non-Tidal Fishing License

This license allows holders to fish on non-tidal water bodies for 7 days. It is available for residents at a cost of $7.5 and for non-residents at the same cost that the state charges as an out-of-state fishing license for Maryland residents.

Three Days Non-Tidal Fishing License

This license allows holders to fish on non-tidal water bodies for 3 days. It is available for only non-residents at the same cost that the state charges as an out-of-state fishing license for Maryland residents.

Trout Stamps

Trout stamps are available for fishers that want to harvest trout fishes. Residents and non-residents can purchase this stamp at costs of $5 and $10 respectively.

Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport License

This license allows holders to harvest fish in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland and the state boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal bays. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $15 and $22.5 respectively.

Seven Days Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport License

This license allows holders to harvest fish in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland and the state boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal bays. The license is valid for only seven days. It is available for residents and non-residents at a cost of $6 and $12 respectively.

Senior Consolidated Fishing License

A senior consolidated fishing license is available for senior residents of Maryland that are 65 years old or more. This license can include the combination of other hunting or harvesting licenses available for seniors in the state. Non-residents cannot purchase this license. It costs $5.

Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport License Charter License

This license allows holders to harvest fish in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland and the state boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal bays with a charter boat. It is available for residents and non-residents at the same price. For a charter boat that is carrying up to 6 people, the license cost is $240. For more than 6 people, the cost increases to $290.

Crabbing License

This license will allow holders to harvest crabs in Maryland waterbodies. It is available for residents and non-residents at costs of $5 and $10 respectively. For residents that possess the Chesapeake Bay and coastal sport fishing license or a senior resident with a consolidated fishing license, the cost will be $2.

Maryland Hunting Seasons

Hunting seasons in Maryland vary majorly based on the game animals you want to take and the type of hunting weapon you are using.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Maryland includes the following:

Maryland Deer Hunting Season (White-tailed and Sika Deer)

  • Archery hunting season (11th of September to 21st of October and 25th of October to 27th of November)
  • Firearms Hunting Season (28th of November to 12th of December and 8th of January to 10th of January)
  • Muzzleloader Hunting Season (22nd of October to 24th of October and 19th of December to 2nd of January)

White-tailed deer hunting in Maryland is available in only some counties in the state. The date for this hunting will vary throughout the state.

Maryland Turkey Hunting Season

  • Fall General Hunting Season (31st of October to 8th of November)
  • Winter General Hunting Season (21st of January to 23rd of January)
  • Spring General Season (19th of April to 24th of May)

Fall turkey hunting in Maryland is only allowed in counties like Washington, Allegany, and Garrett.

Maryland Black Bear Hunting Season

  • General Hunting Season (26th of October to 30th of October)

To hunt bears in Maryland, you need a special permit from the state department of Natural season. There is also a bag limit of one deer per season.

Maryland Small Games Hunting Season

Hunting seasons for the small game animals in Maryland include the following:

  • Rabbit Hunting Season (7th of November to 27th of February)
  • Squirrel Hunting Season (5th of September to 30th of January)
  • Quail Hunting Season (7th of November to 15th of February)
  • Ruffed Grouse Hunting Season (3rd of October to 31st of February)
  • Pheasant Hunting Season (7th of November to 28th of February)
  • Crow Hunting Season (15th of August to 15th of March)

Game seasons vary for Maryland hunting zones. Also, hunters are to know that bag limits, hunting regulations, laws, and requirements vary for game animals and seasons. Hunters are advised to visit the Maryland Department for Natural Resources to obtain important information about their specific hunting season in their hunting zone.

Maryland Hunting Wildlife, Games, and Fishes

Some of the most common wildlife and games available in Maryland include the following:

Maryland Deer Hunting

Maryland sika deer hunting and white-tailed deer are the most common species in the state. They can be found in a lot of the state hunting lands and Wildlife Management Areas. Deer inhabit the muddy habitats of Maryland especially in the eastern part of Mississippi.

Maryland Bear Hunting

Black bear hunting in Maryland is restricted to only certain counties in the state such as Frederick, Washington, Garrett, and Allegany. Special permits are issued for the hunting of bears and only one bear can be taken per hunting season.

Maryland Turkey Hunting Season

Turkey hunting in Maryland is common in the western part of the state. There are many wildlife managements where you can hunt for turkey in the state, but the most ideal location is Dan’s mountain WMA in Allegany county because of its serene landscape of close to 10,00- acres, and its turkey population.

Maryland Duck Hunting

Duck hunting in Maryland takes place in the majority of the WMAs, but the most ideal places in the state to take ducks are the Millington WMA, Blackwater WMA, and Sassafras WMA in the eastern part of the state. Millington WMA is not only perfect for duck hunting; it is also a great location to hunt other waterfowls.

Maryland Goose Hunting

Geese are migratory birds, and the most occurring ones in Maryland are the Canadian geese. These birds nest in northern Quebec and the northeast shore of Hudson Bay. This is why Goose hunting in Maryland takes place on the eastern shore of the state where the birds usually inhabit during the hunting season.

Maryland Pheasant Hunting

Maryland public hunting lands have a great population of pheasants. Pheasant hunting in Maryland is welcomed because the birds destroy farmlands in the state and cause losses to grasses and insects.

Maryland Quail Hunting

The common species of quail found in Maryland is the bobwhite quail that is small and round in stature. It is a ground dwelling bird game that is fairly dispersed in the state. They occur mostly in the southern part and eastern shore.

Maryland Shooting Ranges

Shooting ranges in the state that is open to the general public include the following:

  • 12th Precinct Pistol and Archery
  • Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, Inc
  • Berwyn Rod and Gun Club
  • Carroll County Gun Club
  • Cresap Rifle Club
  • Delmarva Sporting Clays & Shooting Facility
  • Elk Neck State Forest
  • Green Ridge State Forest
  • Loch Raven Skeet & Trap Club
  • Myrtle Grove WMA Shooting Range
  • Prince George's County Trap & Skeet Center
  • Select Fire
  • Synepuxent Rod & Gun Club
  • Talbot County Rod & Gun Club

Maryland Hunting Lands for Lease and Sale

Hunting lands for sale in Maryland include the following:

  • Mardela Springs, Maryland (Wicomico County) 80.83 acres.
  • Denton, Maryland (Caroline County) 63.44 acres.
  • Crisfield, Maryland (Somerset County) 467 acres.
  • Chestertown, Maryland (Kent County) 9.71 acres.
  • Stevensville, Maryland (Queen Annes County) 17.88 acres.
  • Centreville, Maryland (Queen Annes County) 52.24 acres.
  • Snow Hill, Maryland (Worcester County) 34.33 acres.
  • Westover, Maryland (Somerset County) 176.33 acres.
  • Wingate, Maryland (Dorchester County) 63.99 acres.
  • Tyaskin, Maryland (Wicomico County) 20 acres.
  • Pocomoke City, Maryland (Worcester County) 32.5 acres.
  • Princess Anne, Maryland (Somerset County) 105 acres.
  • Marion, Maryland (Somerset County) 114 acres.
  • Flintstone, Maryland (Allegany County) 47 acres.
  • Rhodesdale, Maryland (Dorchester County) 112.67 acres.
  • Preston, Maryland (Caroline County) 67 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in Maryland include the following:

  • Two Memberships Available in Eastern Shore Hunting Club for Deer Hunting, Queen Annes County, 4o acres land.
  • Club memberships open for Hunting in Wicomico county, 240 acres.
  • Deer and Turkey Hunting Available in Kent County, 1200 acres.
  • Duck hunting property and deer hunting in Wicomico county, 10 acres.
  • Beautiful, Forested 11 Acre Land in Fulton MD for Archery in Howard County, 11 acres.
  • Beautiful 500-acre land for 4 members lease in Talbot county, 500 acres.
The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More
crossmenuchevron-down