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Crossbow Deer Hunting Opens October 1
ANNAPOLIS, MD ó Dear hunters may use crossbows during Marylandís Archery Season from October 1 through October 15 and January 15 through January 31.
All crossbow hunters must possess a Resident or Non-resident Hunting License and a Resident or Non-resident Bow Stamp. Any white-tailed deer or sika deer taken with a crossbow will count toward the appropriate Regional Bow Bag Limit. All bow hunting regulations apply to crossbow hunters.
In addition, crossbows must have a minimum draw of 75 pounds and a working safety. Arrows and bolts used for deer hunting must have sharpened broadhead with a cutting surface with a minimum width of 7/8 inch. A cocked crossbow may not be transported in a vehicle.
Any deer taken with a crossbow or vertical bow must be registered with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by calling 1-888-800-0121 or through the Internet at www.gamecheck.dnr.state.md.us. Deer taken with crossbows will be registered as taken with a crossbow. Deer taken with straight limb, recurve or compound bows will be registered as taken with vertical bows. Maryland DNR deer biologists will continue to evaluate any influence of the crossbow to the deer management.
Thirty-three sika deer and 1,024 white-tailed deer were taken during the 2006-2007 four-week crossbow season. During this same four-week period, 54 sika deer and 3,342 white-tailed deer were taken with vertical bows. The top counties for the crossbow season were: Baltimore County (116); Montgomery County (92); Washington County (91); Garrett County (75); Howard County (70); Harford County (68); Allegany County (61); Frederick County (56); Charles County (54); and Anne Arundel County (48).
DNR reminds crossbow hunters to follow these safety guidelines:
- Maximum effective range is 40 yards
- Know exactly where the bolt will hit before you pull the trigger (practice, practice, practice).
- Never walk or climb a tree with a crossbow cocked and loaded with a bolt.
- Always use manufacturer recommended bolt weights.
- Practice with the same type of broadhead you plan to hunt with.
- Keep your fingers and thumb down on the crossbow forearm out of the path of travel for the string and cables.
- Always identify your target and background before you shoot.
- Never shoot if there is any doubt about the shot.
- Never shoot if the animal is alert.
- Carry a field point tipped bolt in your quiver to uncock the crossbow at the end of the hunt by shooting the bolt into soft ground.
Marylandís Crossbow Deer Hunting Season is one component of DNRís deer management activities. Maryland deer hunters purchase more than 50,600 bow stamps annually. Nearly 7,000 archery deer hunters indicated that they use crossbows. Archery hunting combined with firearm and muzzleloader deer hunting, provides 900,000 hours of outdoor recreation while managing white-tailed deer and sika deer populations. Each year deer hunting contributes more than $150 million to Marylandís economy.
Complete bag limits, season dates and bow hunting regulations can be found at the DNR website at www.dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide. The 2007-2008 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland, issued with each hunting license, also contains detailed information about all of Marylandís hunting seasons.
September 18, 2007
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov