After spending several months obtaining and reviewing public input, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has selected regulation changes for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 hunting seasons. The regulations are currently being drafted and will be submitted to the Maryland Register for final approval.
“We review these regulations every two years and conduct an extensive public outreach effort to gain input on the proposed changes,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “We blend good research and science with the needs and wants of our constituents as we manage and sustain our state’s rich wildlife resources.”
Highlights of the selected changes include:
- Baiting: Hunting black bears and wild turkeys with the aid of bait will remain illegal, however it will be legal in the fall season if the hunter and the game taken are at least 150 yards from a known bait source.
- Black Bear: The black bear hunting area will be extended to include all of Frederick and Washington counties. Hunting will be by special permit only, issued by the traditional lottery system
- Sika Deer: Sika deer hunting is no longer restricted to Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
The complete list of recommended regulation changes can be found here. Once finalized, they will appear in the 2016-2017 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping and on the department’s webpage. The selected season dates and bag limits for the next two years are available here.