Hunting News

Early season harvest increases 24% over 2021

Early season harvest increases 24% over 2021

By Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Early muzzleloader and archery harvests increased 24% over last year’s harvest with hunters taking 20,220 deer during the early portion of the 2022 archery and muzzleloader seasons. Last year’s official harvest was 16,314 deer for the same period.

The early season rebound was largely attributed to improved weather for hunting and increased hunter effort when compared to the previous year. The impacts of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) were also less prevalent, although an outbreak in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties has caused a decrease in the early harvest. EHD occurs annually in Maryland deer and does not have long-lasting effects for the deer population, nor is it harmful to humans.

The two-month harvest included 12,498 deer taken during the archery season and 7,613 harvested during the October muzzleloader season. An additional 109 deer were reported during managed hunts.

The archery harvest increased 32% while the muzzleloader harvest increased 13% compared to the previous year. The sika deer harvest increased 34% from 1,211 deer to 1,623 deer.

Hunters harvested 885 deer on Sundays that were open to archery hunting during the period, accounting for 7% of the total archery harvest.

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