News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Announces Early Season Deer And Turkey Harvest Numbers

Annapolis, Maryland (November 16, 2009) - Maryland deer hunters took advantage of mostly cool temperatures and a healthy deer population by harvesting an estimated 24,384 deer during September and October. This is a slight decline from last year’s harvest of 25,655 deer for the same period.

During the months of September and October, preliminary data indicate bowhunters harvested 11,379 white-tailed and 269 sika deer, a 2% increase from last year. Crossbow hunters harvested 1,051 white-tailed and 30 sika deer, an 18% increase from last year.

Muzzleloader hunters struggled with difficult weather conditions in the early season and reported 11,245 white-tailed and 410 sika deer, 13% fewer deer than last year’s early season harvest.

Overall, hunters reported taking 8,232 antlered and 16,152 antlerless deer so far this year.

“We are very satisfied to see hunters taking nearly twice as many antlerless as antlered deer,” said DNR Associated Director for Game Management Pete Jayne. “Harvesting antlerless deer is a critical part of our deer management plan.”

Fall turkey hunters reported harvesting 150 turkeys during the one week fall season that ended on November 7, a decrease of 30% from 2008. As in the past, Allegany County reported the highest harvest with 67 turkeys, followed by Garrett (53), and Washington (30). The decline in harvest is attributed to a below average nesting season and a long term decline in hunter participation in this season.

   November 16, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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