Deer in Spring Landscape

Public Comment Record

Proposed Hunting & Trapping Season Dates and Regulation Changes
for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016

The Public Comment Period Closed at
4:00 p.m. on March 17, 2014.

Thank you for your interest.

Click here to view the Selected Regulations

Click here to View the Public Meeting Presentation

 

Comments Posted on March 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm

 

3/17/2014
I really like the change to the Sika season and allowable bag which will allow you to harvest the legal limit during the antlered season. Previously, I could only usually only hunt the first three days of the muzzleloader season. This meant if I shot a doe/hine I was out of luck for a Stag. I appreciate this change because it makes perfect sense. - R. W.

3/17/2014
I am a youth hunter, and I live in Garret County. Thanks to QDMA, I killed a nine point last year, and I am only six years old. I want antler point restrictions. - E. F.

3/17/2014
As a hiker and rural resident of Frederick County south of Rt. 70, I believe that rifles should not be permitted for deer-hunting anywhere in the county. As it is, I am afraid to hike in the woods during hunting season, even on the Appalachian trail, where hunting is banned. On the AT I have been startled by guns that are much too close for comfort. Also, one of my dogs was shot in the leg, and I am afraid to let my pets out during hunting season. Rifles will simply make the woods more dangerous than they already are.

I also oppose extending the season on mourning doves.

I also oppose lifting the requirement that bear hunter permittees and subpermittees maintain visual contact. - H. V. D.

3/17/2014
I am opposed to the winter turkey season. - C. D.

3/17/2014
Cecil County zone B needs to be changed to a shotgun county for deer season.

3/17/2014
I completely support opening a fall/winter wild turkey season to both sex of turkeys. - R. S.

3/17/2014
As a resident of Frederick County who loves to hike in the woods, I wish deer hunting could be banned altogether except for a very brief period to cull the herds. I have run into hunters carrying rifles on the Appalachian Trail. Every fall a hunter puts up a deer stand on the trail I take through the woods to reach the Appalachian Trail. I wear an orange vest but this is not a comfortable situation. I am even more concerned with bow hunters, as their means of killing strikes me as even crueler than the use of rifles. Perhaps the answer is to have one stretch of woods in the county where people who like to kill animals can go and do so.

3/17/2014
I totally agree with the proposed sika changes.

The proposed turkey changes are ridiculous! If you are creating an additional week of fall turkey hunting fine, but if propose the season to be in January you will disappoint a lot of people! I camp in Garrett County to go turkey hunting in October with several others, I also know of many others that also camp while turkey hunting, this January season would not be conducive to this. Also fall turkey hunting should be allowed state wide, I see more turkeys while hunting on the Eastern Shore than I ever have in Western Maryland. You will never make everyone happy with changes(the muzzleloader changes that occurred many years had the hunting community up in arms, but it has worked well)." - N. S.

3/17/2014

  1. Suspension of hunting, must be done with due process, and must have a hearing, appeals process and arbitration. DNR should not have the ability to handle/issue any suspensions without these processes in place first and written in the law.
  2. Limit buck hunting by point count is acceptable after first two. Add comment, allowance for button bucks that maybe taken.
  3. Yes, to additional turkey season. But need to eliminate baiting clause, many turkey hunting areas are the same as deer, and bait will have been used to get the deer and still will be ground for that January turkey season. Should not preclude or make a violation to hunt that area for the "30 days after baiting". - R. F.

3/17/2014
The Sika deer proposed regs are good and well thought-out.

Withdraw the ""Wanton Waste"" proposal -- "Every reasonable and legal attempt"

REASONS: way too broad, easily subject to abuse and interpretation.

It completely misses the purpose of crop damage permits and sharpshooting permits, which are to save crops, save gardens, reduce collisions w vehicles, to save the woods from destruction. When a person makes ""every reasonable"" attempt to retrieve one carcass, that can prevent taking 3 or more deer. Gardens and woods are being ruined by overbrowsing in much of Maryland. Ruined.

When hawks, eagles, owls, vultures, and foxes etc get meals from deer that have not been retrieved in the woods, those are much safer meals than eating a dead deer on a roadside, where the birds can and will be struck by traffic.

People who want everyone else to make "every reasonable" attempt to retrieve carcasses at crop damage, etc -- should first go out themselves to track deer that are suffering with broken legs after being struck by traffic, euthanize them, and retrieve those carcasses themselves. Then they can tell the rest of us what to do.

Withdraw the Proposal to reduce the bag limit on antlerless deer in Region A to two per year:

Key point: Do you have any data on forest regeneration, on oak browse for that region?

Setting harvest limits must include habitat condition. Reducing the bag limit in the entire Region A, because there **might ** be increased pressure on antlerless deer, and in some place fewer does are seen, takes back seat to the actual condition of the woods - how much oak browse is surviving. That gives the next generation of oaks, and it is preferred food for deer.

Order of harvest restrictions to put yet another restriction on those hunters whose hunting days are limited by job schedules and weather. They now get only a few firearms hunting days each year.

Adding new penalties and new violations is pointless. The laws and regulations are already incredibly complex.

"Shoot a doe and all will grow" is well said. " - E. M.

3/17/2014
I am in favor of the antlered deer point restriction. Haven't started turkey hunting yet but have to agree with Rich from Backbone Mtn. Sports Shop, there is either too much snow on the ground or it is so bitter cold in January that I can't think that it would be too much fun. - Jason

3/16/2014
Winter Turkey Hunting Proposal: against.

Winter season would cause unnecessary stress on turkey flock and could very easily affect overall turkey population especially with a severe winter. If you need additional Toms killed then issue bonus tags. I'm sure successful hunters would pay for an extra tag or two or three.

Deer Hunting, Shotgun zone change Frederick County. Against.
Goes without saying our first priority needs to be safety. Modern shotguns are extremely accurate at 200 yards. If additional Deer population and control is needed the DNR could require an antlerless harvest (or two) prior to the antler harvest.

I believe the two antlerless harvest for a bonus tag is overstated with the online harvest records.

Antler Restriction Proposal: For, good luck trying to enforce. The current attitude if it's brown it's down. Deer hunting today has been compromised by commercial media and hunting shows.

Finally, I would like to see hunter and sportsman involvement with local parks including Federal parks with herd management prior to sharp shooter deer management. I'm sure the groups can work together with specific objectives and goals. I strongly believe in proficiency testing and back ground checks. Check out Ryan Butler's program in Montgomery County. First class operation. - M.S.

3/16/2014
Absolutely opposed to rifle hunting below I70 - too dense population for such. Have you ever seen an autopsy on an eleven year old girl dead from a dee r hunter's rifle? I have and it was upsetting to see all normal organs and then to look at the little girl's face. Not a dry eye in the room. She was sledding with friends near her development and was shot by a deer hunter twice. Maybe you should consider observing the autopsies on children and other residents in the area below I70 as there will be many with people going about their daily habits and children playing near their homes. Also, a couple years ago some one was shooting at a deer in vicinity of drag strip and I was driving on 75 and a deer came like lightning out of the field and in front of my car and off into another field. If that deer had hit my car on driver's side, it would have tore through my car and taken me with it right out into that field. That would have been like tons of weight thrown at me. Think again on this populated area for rifle hunting. I can only think of one area in MD and that would be way west near WV. Anyway, I have herds of deer in my yard and they are "tame" and eat the cat food I put out for cats. They don't make messes and take off after eating. - Z. A. P.

3/16/2014
Support Statewide ARsQ

3/16/2014
I am not in favor of the proposed changes to allow more hunting with rifles in Frederick County. I do agree with the proposed increase in the shotgun only zone to account for the housing density in the suburban areas of Frederick county. The character of Frederick County has changed a great deal in recent years with numerous new housing sub-divisions throughout the county. The use of rifles in proximity to housing needs to be restricted to prevent potential conditions where residents can be put at risk.

2. To adjust the current zone that limits deer hunting to shotguns only in Frederick County.

Rationale/Goal:

To respond to requests from Frederick County officials and farm bureau members to redraw the shotgun only zone for deer hunting to include more of the suburban area around the city of Frederick and less of the rural area to the south of Route 70. - R. G.

3/16/2014
Sika deer are becoming an increasing nuisance to me as a landowner. Their range is expanding along with their numbers. It’s way, way past time that DNR increased the bag limits…which still aren’t what they were in the 1980’s! Sad, very sad! I can think of hundreds of reasons to control this exotic species, and none not to! Anyway, I’m in favor of the proposed regulation to increase the bag limits. This is a start at least! Maybe in two more years we can make antlerless sika and antlerless white-tail limits the same. Why rely on crop damage permits to do the job when my hunters can get it done? I’m also in favor of having a winter turkey season. From the information I’ve gained, there should be hardly any impact on the turkey population and there will be an opportunity for us landowners on the Shore to enjoy hunting turkeys during a different season of the year. - B. A.

3/16/2014
I believe that the sika deer bag limit should be increased. They have become more of a problem with increased numbers of deer damaging crops and i have also seen an increase in car accidents as a result of higher numbers of sika deer. As a hunter It seems that the sika deer population have also moved more northward in the county and i see far more Sikas verses whitetail. Increasing the limites should go alot further to help farmers and landowners. I would also like to see a winter turkey season. In the 2013-14 hunting season I have observed an increase in turkey population and believe hunters would benefit by adding a winter season and giving hunters more than one chance a year to hunt turkeys. I hope this feed back will be taken in to acount in the DNR's decision making process. - B. A.

3/16/2014
The deer population on the eastern shore is out of control something needs to be done to get the numbers down the sika deer are over populating in some areas worse than others.

3/16/2014
APR's are good for Maryland Deer,Deer hunters toward good management for the future !!!! - M. Q.

3/16/2014
Quality Deer Management has become and will continue to become the most practiced deer management strategy in our region. We now know the majority of hunters want Quality Deer Management. The Traditional Deer Management style has become outdated with little concern for carrying capacity and hunters were merely consumers. Trophy Deer Management is unrealistic for our area with intense doe harvests and trophy buck guidelines that primarily focus on age classes that rarely exist in our area. Thus, this leaves the hunter with Quality Deer Management that has and will continue to transition hunters into stewards of the land. The QDMA branch in Garrett County has the largest functions in the state, and its cooperative is one of the largest in Northeast United States, totaling nearly 35,000 noncontiguous acres. The cooperative is comprised of 2,300 licensed hunters spanning from Oakland to Hancock, Md. These hunters love to shoot coyotes, like to see age structure in the deer herd, and enjoy hunter benefits of QDM. The Garrett County QDMA supports an APR for one buck and would like to see more quality concepts in the near future. - A. J. F.

3/16/2014
I am commenting for personal reasons and as a member of Foxtown Hunting Club of Garrett county. I am in favor of APR. I travel to Ohio every year in hopes of a chance of a mature buck. Ohio allows only one buck per hunting season which allows a lot of deer to mature. I enjoy the priviledge of being in the woods with mature deer. As a memeber of Foxtown Club we have had a point restriction for many yaers. APR was voted on again this year a passed. We have a restriction of one buck with three points on one side not including brow tine. I am also in favor of bear season proposals. Thank you, B. O.

3/16/2014
I am a Dorchester County farmer, which means I live off of the land. Increasing the Sika Deer limit would be favorable to myself and other farmers in the area due to severe crop damage. The Sika deer population seems to be growing, which is causing more crop damage.

3/16/2014
Are we trying to wipe out the dove population this not argentine the dove don't breed up here like that bad idea. Would also like to see if you catch someone clearly on your property caught by a camera and you can identify them that they get a fine. And should not be allowed to take a gobbler during the winter season unless it's goes toward the spring season the problem is there are two many hens we are setting up the season like deer nobody will shoot the hens when they can take a gobbler I think it should be hens only. - J. A.

3/16/2014
Are we trying to wipe out the dove population this not argentine the dove don't breed up here like that bad idea. Would also like to see if you catch someone clearly on your property caught by a camera and you can identify them that they get a fine. And should not be allowed to take a gobbler during the winter season unless it's goes toward the spring season the problem is there are two many hens we are setting up the season like deer nobody will shoot the hens when they can take a gobbler I think it should be hens only. And still think you should. It be allowed to shoot spike sika in less your under 16. - J. W.

3/15/2014
January Turkey Hunting in Garrett County......YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ...Here in Garrett County turkies have enough to worry about trying to get enough to eat to stay alive during periods of extended heavy snowfall without being harassed by hunters.

3/15/2014
This is the first time I've commented on the proposed changes. I really like the online availability, since the meeting sites are far from my home.

Please continue to support expanded Sunday hunting, especially in Baltimore County on private land. Perhaps start with allowing bow/crossbow if noise is an issue? I am also a hiker/backpacker, and have no concern about hiking on public land with hunting, e.g. Loch Raven bow-hunters.

I support the antler point restriction (APR) as written. It took about 5 reads to understand the proposal though. If adopted, please provide a solid visual reference for clarity. Good idea!

Thanks for all that you do! - S. D.

3/15/2014
I am in favor of the whitetail antler restrictions - statewide. This regulation will help protect young antlered deer from being over-harvested for the betterment of the deer population structure. Since our harvest in Maryland of year-and-a-half old bucks is way above the national average, it indicates that we need to educate hunters that the ""if it's brown, it's down"" mentality needs to be changed for the good of the resource. - A. E.

3/15/2014
No problem with any and all changes to be made. I'm sure these changes were well thought out before they will be proposed and enforced. I would just like to see more DNR Police out patroling and enforcing all hunting and fishing laws. Poaching of all wildlife in Maryland is the biggest problem in Maryland. Trust Me! Stiffen the penalties and enforce them better and you will have more game for more outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. More accurate harvest numbers. More fish in our lakes and streams for everyone to enjoy. More money for the state in revenues generated by more participating hunters and fishermen and take some of that revenue to pay the truly needed DNR Police force that the state says we don't have the funds for. It's a vicious circle. Hunters, fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts are the biggest tool we have in our state to govern out Natural Resources and we fail miserably every day. Most outdoorsmen want the laws changed to benefit them, not the natural resources we have. - D. S.

3/15/2014
I am a veterinary pathologist (Diplomate American College of Veterinary Pathology) with an undergraduate degree in wildlife management. I live in Frederick Maryland, and I would like to say that there is absolutely no reason to expand the use of rifles for hunting in Frederick county. The newer and refined shotguns, many with rifled barrels, and shotgun slugs are now accurate out to 150 yards. There is no reason in Frederick County to add to this mix rifles capable of 300 to 400 yard (attempted) shots, with the possibility (or probability) of increased down-range damage after a miss.

I qualified as an expert rifleman with the M14 rifle while enlisted with the United States Marine Corps. Under very controlled conditions, on a rifle range, less than 25% of us achieved the rating of Expert. Rifles in Frederick County will lead to many more attempts at long-range deer, and I can state un-equivocally that a majority of those shots will miss their intended target. We do not need the potential for down-range damage that rifles in southern Frederick county will allow. Thank you. - J. Q.

3/15/2014
I am against any change to the use of rifle hunting in the southern part of Frederick County.

I support leaving the ban on rifle hunting in place. I have run a preschool school for 25 years in this part of the county. I know there is a herd of deer right behind the school and it would be irresponsible of me to allow 3 year old children and 4 year old children to play outside when I know rifles are being used. The child years ago that was shot was inside! Why does a deer, not a large animal, need a rifle to kill them? Why take the chance of a rifle finding another innocent child as a victim?

Please do not change the ban of rifles in the southern part of Frederick county. - L. S.

3/15/2014
NO rifle hunting south of I-70 in Frederick County, Maryland. There are too many homes and businesses for hunting to be conducted in such close proximity. This makes no sense because these areas south of I-70 are heavily developed and development continues. - M. P.

3/15/2014
Regarding changes to area of Frederick County where breech loading rifles are not permitted.

I would welcome a change to allow rifles in the area where I hunt just north of Point of Rocks and west of Rt 15. I hunt on a couple hundred acres of private land, much on the mountain; it's wooded with no houses or other buildings anywhere near. Deer are plentiful. Would help to have a rifle as many shots at 200 yards are available when stand hunting. - R. E.

3/15/2014
As a senior citizen, a life long hunter, and a home owner of Southern Frederick County, I am completely in disagreement of allowing the use of lifting the ban on breech-load rifles. There is no reason to lift the existing ban in this area since this same area has been approved for expanding residential expansion. If an archer can kill a deer within 30 yards, and a rifled slug can kill a deer in 150 yards, there's no need to endanger anybody by allowing a person to use a high-powered rifle.. Such bullets can travel a trajectory of over a half-mile with deadly consequences. - G. S.

3/15/2014
Up the white tail deer limit to two per day for rifle season. - J. K.

3/15/2014
Implementing an antler point restriction is a great idea. It has been several years now since I have seen what I consider a NICE BUCK. For those hunters who oppose this restriction I would say to them just wait 2-3 years and see what you have been missing............. - R. S.

3/14/2014
I support all the trapping proposals. They all seem like common sense changes that will help trappers without hurting the resource.
The dove season change is a good idea also.
APR should be left up to Landowners and or the groups that lease the properties.
Sika deer changes should be made as long as it doesn't adversely affect the population.
If a winter turkey season will not hurt the overall health of Md.'s flock, I am all for it. - B. E.

3/14/2014
As a fur trapper I am in favor of the proposed extension of the fox trapping season. In past years I have had to release incidental grey foxes caught in raccoon sets in February. The two week extension would reduce this problem and allow me to sell more foxes. - B. S.

3/14/2014
I like the idea of the proposed late turkey season!

As for the deer season/bag limits: As a bow only hunter I felt last year that my season was virtually over once Thanksgiving came around. The gun season is always 2 weeks following Thanksgiving, but do we really need another 2 full weeks for muzzle loader season? The woods I hunt were virtually void of dear following these two 2 week seasons. I don't want to generalize, but the majority of firearms hunters hunt both shotgun and muzzle loader and our bag limits are endless. I feel you're once again allowing far too much gun toting time this year and I will once again be hanging my bow up day after I eat my holiday turkey. Shame.

3/14/2014
I am completely AGAINST a statewide winter turkey season. The turkey population becoming as established as it has is a great success story. Allowing for the killing of hens and shooting birds coming to or from bait, which can't be avoided in January, is nothing but steps backwards. A 3rd gobbler in the spring makes more sense and would be less detrimental to the population.

I fully support all trapping proposals. Extending the fox season 2 weeks is an excellent move!

I am against any APR. I understand it is some peoples dream to harvest giant racked deer, I'm just not so sure this is the way for there to be more of those "shooters". - M. S.

3/14/2014
My comment is specific to the proposed Sika deer changes: I don't have a major issue with the proposed increased sika doe harvest, but prefer leaving it as is. If there are changes to doe harvest, then I would like to see NO sika stag spikes harvested at ALL during any of the seasons. If corp damage is a concern I hear and respect the concern, but not sympathetic! There are options and solution to the landowner/farmer, but they need to be open to coordinating with local responsible hunters/hunt clubs to hunt their property under corp damage permits which requires them to register shooters; thus allowing them to screen [allow/not allow], control, and choose who they allow on their property and when. - C. B.

3/14/2014
First, let me say I'm a nonresident. I live in Delaware. I strongly disagree with your policy of nonresidents not being allowed to trap otter and beaver in Maryland. While this isn't on the table as a proposed change. It should be.

As far as the fox season goes. Your proposal to have it run until Feb. 14 is way too late. Your comment that it will aid trappers to take more fur is way off target. Why wouldn't you folks contact your Biologists to see that this practice is not only wrong, but ludicrous . Fox in this geographic region start breaking down around the third week of January Most fox taken after Feb. 1st are useless, and worthless. I find it difficult to believe you folks don't know that.

Also, your Biologist should have told you that most (not all) vixens are carrying pups by then. While it's true every female taken during a given season,,no matter the species,,has a potential to have young, there seems to be something wrong with taking pregnant females.

Maybe your goal is to thin the fox population quickly. And you see this as a way to accomplish your goal. But you should say that . Not cover it by claiming more fur for trappers. Ask any trapper or fur buyer fox taken this late are basically worthless.

I fully understand there are fox as well as other critters that are a problem,,and need removal.That should be controlled under your ADC program,not the general trapping season.

It's my hope that this part of the fox trapping season is changed to, or stays at Jan. 31. - C. B.

3/14/2014
Having lived in Frederick County all my life I know the need to keep the deer herd in control. I feal that for those who assist the farmers an landowners with crop damage permits , the use of center fire rifles would greatly improve the harvesting results. I have no problem to continue useing shotguns dureing the regular firearms season for safety reasons. The harvesting of no more than one buck for each fase of the hunting season would increase the number of bucks an improve the age of the breeding herd. I'm not so sure the use of a antler requirement per side would get the desired results. In states where it was implemented in the east it did not have the results that were expected. Lets give reduced buck harvest a chance before we impliment antler requirements. - R. F.

3/14/2014
WE FARM ABOUT 3200 ACRES IN DORCHESTER COUNTY. WE HAVE MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH DEER DAMAGE. THE SIKA DEER ARE BECOMING HARD TO CONTROL BECAUSE THEY BECOME SO NOCTURNAL AS SOON AS YOU TRY TO HUNT THEM. WE HAVE ALL OF OUR LAND RENTED TO HUNTING CLUBS EXCEPT WHAT WE HUNT OURSELVES. WE ENCOURAGE THEM TO KILL ALL OF THE DEER THAT THEY CAN. WE REALLY NEED TO GET RID OF AS MANY SIKA DOES AS WE CAN. INCREASING THE SIKA DOE LIMIT WILL HELP BUT IT MAY NEED TO BE MORE THAN 3 DOES. - W. M.

3/14/2014
It appears a significant amount of time has been spent on researching the impact these regulation changes will have on the species as well as the sportsmen who enjoy the pursuit of them. I am pleased to see an understanding that as there are changes in nature there must also be changes in the regulation of them. C. B.

3/14/2014
I think it would be an enormous mistake to adjust the current zone that limits deer hunting to shotguns only in Frederick County. Who on earth would think that allowing hunting in the suburbs would be a good idea? Clearly nobody who lives there. Even with the current rate of development, there are too many people in the area for this to be safe, and with all the new housing planned, there is no question that there would be even greater danger for local residents.

Please do not redraw the shotgun-only zone for deer hunting to include more of the suburban area around the city of Frederick and less of the rural area to the south of Route 70. - A. H.

3/14/2014
The MD Bowhunters' Society (MBS) has conducted a random sampling of our membership to aid in establishing our position on the current proposed changes to the Hunting & Trapping Regulations for the 2014 through 2016 seasons. What follows are the official comments of the MBS on those proposals.

  1. MBS supports the proposal to establish a process for the suspension of hunting and trapping privileges for the conviction of certain hunting & trapping violations.
  2. MBS supports the proposal to add 20 days to the dove hunting season.
  3. MBS supports the proposal that would create a seven-day, either-sex, winter wild turkey season statewide. Several of our respondents however did express a concern over possible conflicts with the legal baiting of deer and the possibility of a turkey hunter inadvertently hunting over bait on an adjacent property where they couldn't possibly know of the existence of the bait.
  4. MBS supports the proposal to shift the fall turkey season to open two Saturdays prior to the Junior Deer Hunt. This particular proposal generated several undecided votes as many of those responding indicated they do not hunt in Region A where this particular proposal would impact.
  5. MBS supports all three of the proposed changes to the MD Bear Hunt.
  6. MBS supports all four of the proposed changes to the trapping regulations. We believe these proposals are all common sense based and ensure the continued wise use of our natural resources while affording all user groups equal access.
  7. MBS supports the establishment of a wanton waste regulation.
  8. MBS takes no official stance on the proposed change to the Frederick County shotgun zone. We feel this decision should be heavily weighted to the residents and hunters of Frederick County.
  9. MBS does not support the implementation of APR's STATEWIDE. While some respondents did support the proposal an almost equal number did not. Absent a clear mandate, we take a neutral position on this as far as it being implemented statewide. Our survey comments did show support for the implementation of APR's in REGION A.
  10. Many of our respondents chose not to comment on the proposal to reduce the antlerless bag limit in Region A because they did not live or hunt in Region A, of those that did a majority supported the measure. MBS supports this proposal based on those responses.
  11. The MBS believes that the free ranging sika deer herds in MD present a very unique and valuable recreational resource to hunters, wildlife enthusiasts and all Maryland citizens. Maryland and one portion of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge are the only places in the nation where this wild, free ranging animal can be hunted. As such, we believe it to be of paramount importance to manage this resource responsibly. A majority of the respondents in our survey indicated support for both of the proposals concerning sika deer.

    MBS supports both proposals but wants to state emphatically that population trends of this species should be closely monitored to ensure that this unique and valuable resource is not over harvested.

In closing the MBS wants to thank the MD DNR's Wildlife & Heritage Service for their work in developing these proposals and the opportunity to participate in this process. - L. C.

3/13/2014
How about a two (2) buck harvest STATE WIDE- 1 archery and 1 gun MD DNR? No bonus tag state wide. Hunters will then harvest more does. This way we will not need APR's and everybody wil be Happy.

Bear Season in Washington & Fredrick County in 2014-2015 please!! - Tom

3/13/2014
I am in favor of QDMA management in the state of MD. It is long overdue. The state needs to take it further by adopting lower bag limits and stricter APR.

As for the January turkey hunt, I am opposed. We have a great fall season and spring gobbler season. Why would the state want to mess with success. Thank you. R. V.

3/13/2014
As a hunter and a resident of southern Frederick County, MD, I want to let you know that I am adamantly opposed to opening up rifle hunting south of I-70 in Frederick County. This area of the county is set to become even more populated with housing developments. If we're looking to reduce the deer population, there are certainly better ways to go about it than allowing rifle hunting in this area of the county. -T. D.

3/13/2014
Like the winter turkey season proposal more hunting oppertunity for those who live outside off the current fall zone.Strongly agree with the bear proposals.Would like to see the bear season moved east to include all Washinton and Frederick Countys with the population growing fast in this area it would help with the human/bear conflicts. Agree with all the trapping proposals Would like to see a limited bobcat season all the states that border us that have them have a limited season.

3/13/2014
I believe the proposed winter turkey season is a great idea and adds additional opertunity for hunters. I also believe that there needs to be a black bear season in Washington and Frederick counties as well as a limited bobcat season for western Maryland. - P. B.

3/13/2014
Washington and Frederick Counties should be included in the bear hunt. There are a tremendous amount of black bear issues and conflicts in these two counties each year, and this issue is spreading eastward into more urban areas that are difficult to manage wildlife populations in.

Statewide January turkey season is a great idea, please create this season! More hunting opportunities, and potentially more hunters, and hunting license revenue for projects on public lands.

Limited bobcat season would be another great opportunity for trappers or hunters. all surrounding states have a bobcat season, it is time for Maryland to offer this to her residents.

3/13/2014
If you are going to impose antler restrictions, they need to be uniform. It does nothing for allowing the herd to mature another season, if you allow a spike or fork buck to be shot. Antler restrictions should encourage a hunter to identify their target, and ultimately allow yearlings another season to mature into heavier animals with potentially larger racks. All or nothing.

Along with antler restrictions, this QDM push is a step in the correct direction. If you are going to reduce antlerless harvest opportunities(which is not QDM), you should allow the hunter to harvest their doe at ANY POINT in the season, not the last day, or last two days. It works for other states, and it would work here. More and more sportsmen are finding it difficult to take to the field, and with their limited time, should be allowed to make the decision to harvest their antlerless deer at any time during the season.

3/13/2014
If you LIMIT the harvest of bucks, more does WILL be harvested! Food banks need the fresh meat as well. If a "small percentage" of hunters harvest more than 1 buck than why all the fuss Guss? "Shoot a doe and all will grow" - T. G.

3/13/2014
I continue to object to and see no reason why I can not hunt on my own property on Sundays during any deer season in Frederick County (B). If others wish to not have hunting on their property on Sundays that is their option and they can stop people from doing so; but, I should nor be kept from hunting on my property. This is a misguided and prejudiced regulation. - R. A.

3/13/2014
I support the proposed antler restriction state wide and a maximum of 2 bucks total for the season. I would recommend that the 2 buck total be restricted to 1 buck for bow only and 1 buck with firearm or muzzleloader.

I support the 2 doe total for Region A and would recommend 1 doe with bow and 1 doe with firearm or muzzleloader.

I am opposed to any change to the current rifle restrictions in Frederick County. If anything we should re-evaluate the current shotgun only zones due to the increased development that the county has experienced in the past several years to see if the shotgun only areas should be expanded.

I believe that the use of the shotgun for deer has proven to be very effective and todays modern shotguns are just as accurate as rifles at what I believe are reasonable shooting distances in Frederick County. I believe it was the right decision to establish the shotgun only zone in Frederick County and that it should remain in effect.

I live in Frederick County and own property in Allegany County. During the hunting season I spend on average about 45 days hunting and hunt Allegany, Frederick and Montgomery County. I have noticed a decrease in the doe population where I hunt in Allegany County over the past few years and I am pleased to see DNR looking at ways to improve the doe numbers. The age of the majority of doe that I see in Frederick and Montgomery has gotten younger. I don't know if this is a concern or what implications of shooting only the mature doe would have on the health of the herd.

I have been a hunter in Maryland for over 45 year. Retired police officer and certified hunter safety instructor. - J. B.

3/12/2014
I am a Dorchester resident who has had terrible problems with deer eating my garden completely up . Something needs to be done with the deer population it has gotten out of control. I have had to replant my garden 3 times do to the deer eating it up .

3/12/2014
My comments pertain to the proposed winter turkey season of which I strongly support. This would extend hunting immediately after deer season is over. I plant several food plots for deer and turkey and with present regulations cant use my expenses of planting until April when spring turkey season comes in. This would be very beneficial to me and my family business. - J. D.

3/12/2014
I do not think that hunting should be allowed south of I-70. Even a 22 caliber bullet can travel up to a mile, and severely injure or kill an innocent person and unsuspecting person. Bullets can even penetrate the walls of buildings far from the point of fire.

I still remember meeting a young woman confined to a wheelchair, (during my daughter's high school graduation in the late 1980's) who was hit by a bullet while standing in her own backyard minding her own business. The shooter was never found, but her spinal cord was severed for the rest of her life. I don't think hunting and population centers should be mixed! - E. M.

3/12/2014
First I would like to thank DNR for allowing me to express my opinions on the proposed changes, and I would like to thank the DNR officers who protect our resources and receive little thanks for a very difficult job. I am against the proposed winter turkey season because I know baiting will be an issue and DNR officers are spread too thin to be able keep hunters from harvesting birds over bait. I would like to suggest an early week of archery hunting in the spring. Sell a stamp for those interested in taking a bird during that week. Extra revenue for DNR and the possibility of a third bird is a winning situation for all. Many other states offer this early archery season in the spring and it has become very popular. I am in favor of all the other proposed changes and would like to add that I work full time on a farm that has seen the destruction the increasing sika herd has caused. I love hunting these exotic elk, but most hunters do not realize the economic impact they have on agriculture. I am not theorizing, but am relaying the changes I have seen in the last twenty plus years. We at first thought whitetails were the problem, but the use of trail cameras has verified that sika are the culprits that are causing the most crop damage. Increasing the hunting pressure on our farm has only led to these animals becoming more nocturnal and resulted in lower harvest figures. Their lifespan can be three times that of a whitetail and I have personally harvested collared hinds that were over 18 years old and pregnant. Radio telemetry studies have verified how far hinds and stags travel during the year. They are ranging farther north, south and east each successive year. Only the Chesapeake bay has halted their expansion westward. Each year more farmers are experiencing the economic impact that sika caused and the end is nowhere in sight. The small increase in harvest that DNR is proposing will not make a significant impact on the herd in my opinion. I am a lifelong hunter and see sika on a daily basis, but hunters must realize the problems farmers have trying to cope with the damage sika are causing. - D. W.

3/12/2014
In many other states when you purchase your licence to hunt you are issued your tags for your animals. This would be great in maryland takes all confusion away and officers can check more easily. - C. B.

3/12/2014
I am against the winter turkey statewide season proposed. The eastern wild turkey is the greatest success wildlife biologists can claim, in this state and across the country. When the population throughout middle Maryland is just now becoming established, why would you allow the harvest of hen turkeys? This period of the winter is also the most stressful for all game animals, and adding hunting pressure to the turkeys could make them enter into the breeding season at less than optimal condition, which could further reduce the population.

Also, even though this season was proposed to limit turkeys being influenced by bait, I submit that this proposed timeframe will be worse, because turkeys are more apt to focus on bait sites when food is scarce, like winter.

Lastly, the additional hunting pressure will not improve spring gobbler hunting as many believe. It will in fact reduce success because of the added hunting pressure. Look at harvest rates and hunter success rates in states that allow fall hunting, and they show a marked lower success rate. - B. S.

3/12/2014
I like the direction you are heading with the Antlerless deer in Region A. However I would like to see the point restriction implemented on the second Buck. That would allow an individual to still get their meat and hopefully save some yearlings. Also the Bear season is a step in the right direction we need to know how many days we can hunt. I am an avid bow hunter and spend many hours in the woods observing the deer. Deer numbers a very low compared to years past. I'm not saying the need to be back to the 1990's to 2000 levels but they should be a little higher than they are currently. It is sad when you can go to the woods on any given evening and know you are more likely to see a bear or two than a deer. Thank you for your time. - B. M.

3/11/2014
The turkey season should be two days statewide and hens only will cut down on hen competion during spring season and a 25 dollar extra gobbler stamp for third bird like out west. - B. M.

3/11/2014
Rifle hunting south of interstate 70 is just irresponsible. Rifle projectiles can travel up to a mile or more. Where is there space south of this interstate that a house will not have the possibility of being hit. Part of my occupation is to teach rifle shooting to police officers and one an instructors fears is that one of these rounds does not impact the backstop and escapes to who knows where. Do not say you are sorry when someone gets killed . It is too late then . - W.D.

3/11/2014
We have over 4 acres of wooded property and we have a hard enough time keeping hunters off with the current allowed weapons. We love our property and we want to feel safe to be able to let our children explore and play in this natural environment without the threat of someone yielding a rifle. We strongly oppose the changes proposed to the rifle laws. - A. C.

3/11/2014
A winter hunting season for wild turkeys is a bad idea and will negatively affect both the hunters and turkeys in MD. During the winter turkey population is at it's lowest and will be most negatively affected by hunting, especially if hens are taken. Also the lack of interest in gobblers responding to calls will lead to an increased number of birds shot in the roost and shot over bait. A state that has an excellent turkey hunting and conservation program is Georgia, whose statement on fall seasons I feel applies here: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Hunting/NoFallTurkey

I feel that winter season, while generating a lot of excitement in the short term, would be detrimential to both bird and hunters in the long term. - R. S.

3/11/2014
First of all APR is not trophy hunting. The proposed regulations will help ensure a healthy and more mature deer herd for Maryland something that it currently lacks. I believe this is a step in the right direction for managing deer in the state. Second, a January turkey hunt is ridiculous, especially in the western part of the state because of the harsh winters. In January turkeys are going through their most stressful time of the year, trying to find food and escaping predators. Third, moving turkey season to early November will only cause a season conflict with bow hunters who are trying to hunt the rut. In regard to turkey hunting, why ruin a good thing? - Z. V.

3/11/2014
I would like to see a Late resident season for Canadian Geese. I've seen more of them in Feburary then I have in September. This is in Cecil county. I do know there is a late season for western Maryland and parts of Baltimore. My question is, why have it there when there is just as many residents here in Cecil/Harford area. - C. R.

3/11/2014
Does this change the use of riffles in Frederick County? If it allows for the use of riffles south of I-70, which is where the county is looking to focus its dense growth development, I have concerns. Can you please let me know? - R. R.

3/11/2014
When considering changes to the hunting zones in Frederick County, please be aware of planned population expansions in Southern Frederick County. What might seem like safe areas for hunting today, may not be safe for hunting in the near future. Thank you. - G. T.

3/11/2014

  1. In reference to hunting suspensions. For illegally hunting with firearms during bow season should be upped from 1 year to 3 years. I believe this is the most violated regulation.
  2. I agree with moving the Fall Turkey season to just prior to the opening of the Junior Hunting.
  3. I like the idea of restricting the number of antlered bucks. This will allow bucks to mature.

- K. S.

3/11/2014
Hi, I am opposed to the proposed change. I live in the affected area. This is an area of the county that is rapidly expanding. The Frederick County BoCC wants to add another 9000 homes in new development in this and surrounding areas. As a gun owner I respect the rights of hunters, but I also expect hunting to be done in a safe manner. I am fine with bow and arrow, shotgun and black powder. But rifles are a whole new issue. This should not be permitted. Someone WILL get injured or killed. There's plenty of open spaces for hunters who want to hunt with rifles in other parts of the county. Thanks for denying this request. - C. D.

3/11/2014
Please consider the increased number of houses in the area south of I-70. Maybe opening this area to hunting is not such a great idea. ... Thank you. - A. C.

3/11/2014
I have hunted in Western Maryland for 18 years, and also am a biology major. I like the idea of reducing the antler-less kill in that area, there do seem to be less deer.

I do have a problem with how the regulations are written in regards to a possible antler restriction. I would actually love to see a 3 point on one side minimum for all season, but understand that it may not happen. I would suggest that you word it a little better in the regulations, by saying season total is a limit of 3 bucks with no more than 2 bucks less than 3 points on one antler side. While I have a college degree there is a high number of hunters in Western Maryland that do not and I think you need to be more clear and make it simple to understand. When the hunters do not understand it and it is so complicated they just shoot what they want and don't check it in. Which is hard for you to enforce due to the low number of officers that you have.

My last suggestion would be to make firearm season 3 points on one side in Region A, with the exception of the last few days that are antler-less. Would be easier to manage and enforce and understand.

My biggest concern with the the antler restriction as written is how are you going to enforce it? Check only hunters who check in 3 bucks? My guess is that the hunters who would adhere to this are already adhering to it?

I just don't understand how this regulation as it is written will have any impact of allowing the younger bucks to live longer?

How many hunters in Region A last year checked in 3 bucks with all 3 having 3 points or less? Thanks, J. L.

3/11/2014
It is either APR's after 1st buck (to make an impact) or reduce the harvest to 2 antlered deer per year in Regions A & B, 1 archery and 1 gun. Shoot whatever you want and then you are done! NO BONUS TAG! If they cannot shoot 4 bucks in Region B they WILL START TO HARVEST MORE DOES! Think about that DNR, that if you limit the buck harvest to 2 and you enjoy hunting YOU will keep hunting and the does WILL GET HARVESTED!! The farmers will be happy, FHFH will be happy, the insurance industry will be happy. It's a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN. This way the hunter is making the choice on what bucks they harvest and has no one to blame when they are tagged out. Everyone will be HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY if you follow this proposal!

Bear season in Washington County in 2014-2015 Oh Yea Baby!! - Tom

3/11/2014
Deer in southern Frederick County(and elsewhere) continue to be a problem on highways, in gardens, and on farms. I think efforts should be made to control them and hunting is a good method. However, using rifles in populated areas is not the answer. Frederick County may like to consider the southern part of the county as rural, but a drive through it will show that it is changing rapidly to an urban area. I totally disagree with expanding the rifle use area in Frederick County. - W. G.

3/11/2014
I strongly object to allowing deer rifles for hunting in the high density areas of Frederick and Montgomery County south of I-70. Maybe other high density areas w/large new developments should also be banned within one mile of towns like Lake Linganore, New Market, Yellow Springs,Thurmont, Emmittsburg, Whittier, Ballenger Creek, Jefferson Park, Woodsboro, Union Bridge and all of south (Of I-70) and east (RT 15) Frederick County. Maybe rifles should be banned whenever population density exceeds 1oo persons/square mile.

I support Mr. Shreve's proposal for senior citizens spotlighting deer both day and night along roads since we do no see so well. I also support his legal road hunting for seniors over age 55 or 60. Hunting in towns like Frederick City & Walkersville w/Street lights and other man-made lighting between 10 PM and 5 AM will go a long way to reduce deer populations and make the roads safe and reduce lyme disease.

Few farmers allow deer hunting by strangers. This should be a requirement for crop damage claims and receiving US Farm Bill money. - S. M.

3/11/2014
The antler restrictions are a bad idea without sound scientific analysis backing it up. - L. M.

3/11/2014
I am opposed to the APR. As for "ghost checking" deer, granted it does occur but it has minor to no impact on deer numbers, less than 1%. Prior to the advent of checking deer in virtually many hunters said that it would lead to inaccurate deer harvest numbers due to ""ghost deer"" and it was shown that that was not the case, the MD DNR harvest study showed little to no difference once the transition took effect.

3/11/2014
The DNR should not base regulation changes on pressure from trophy hunters. No to APR.

3/11/2014
Please expand the 2wk firearms season and make the 3rd week antlerless only. I also am against antler restrictions. - J. S.

3/11/2014
Love the winter Turkey season - great proposal.
Bear season - I think it is a great idea if the season is at least Mon - Sat.
Antler point restrictions - counterproductive to improving the genetics of the deer herd. Everyone will say they need to be given time to grow, but no farmer in his right mind will kill his prize bull when he meets a minimum size. He will protect the best and let them do the breeding. Antler restrictions protects only the worst genetics in the deer herd.

Overall some great proposals except for the antler restrictions. - M. B.

3/11/2014
My Father was a firearms safety instructor for many years. He instructed at the Issac Walton League in Gaithersburg Maryland in the 1960s. He put each one of his sons through Hunter's Safety...as I did with my children and grandchildren. Although he is gone now...I know what his take on the new proposal to allow rifles south of the current border in Frederick County would be....as is my opinion. Not just no...but HELL NO!! It is not safe at all. A high powered rifle...308, 306, 30-30-35, 700, etc. can travel a large distance. It is just not safe and I say this because I am very familiar with these hunting areas having grown up in the area. I would recommend allowing bow hunters to hunt deer on Sundays in all permissible public and private hunting areas where deemed safe. There would be no noise concerns, added safety and an increased harvest, therefore reducing the surplus herds. A win, win situation for everyone. - D. L.

3/10/2014
I do not agree with the proposal in reference to the antler restriction. I understand that a hunter would still be allowed to harvest at least 2 antlered deer such as 2 spikes and/or fork horned bucks, etc. and the restriction then takes place at that point in time. However, I think that it is a manipulative way to eventually create such a point restriction straight across the board in future years such as what the State of Pennsylvania had and is currently doing. In my opinion, this is not working in Pennsylvania and never will work on the eastern portion of the United States. IT IS NOT IN THE SOIL TO DO SO. I have hunted the Midwest (Iowa) for whitetails and the minerals are in the soil to do so there. They do not even have any antler restrictions because they do not need to do so. Hunters there do not think about harvesting a spike, 4-point, etc. because they do not have to. There is so many other nice bucks because its in the soil. Crops there are full of the minerals & nutrients that create larger deer, antlers, etc. Lets not become a "Pennsylvania". They have lost their yesteryear and the deer hunting camp tradition is gone.

On another note, I support the seven day winter wild turkey season but think that rifles should be allowed.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on something that I feel very strong about. - R. G.

3/10/2014
I am not in favor of adjusting the current zone that limits deer hunting to shotguns only in Frederick County. There is a reason for this restriction in not allowing rifles to hunt deer. Safety First! What is the plan if the unfortunate situation occurs if someone is shot by a rifle after revising this zone? Could even shotguns not be allowed if this was to occur? This could be opening up a can of worms. - R. G.

3/10/2014
With the crop damage that we have I hope you increase the sika deer limits they are out of control along with the whitetails.

3/10/2014
No winter turkey season for eastern shore, turkeys are doing well but definitely not high populations in all areas. The taking of hens at any time of year makes no sense. Baiting would also be a problem as many hunting properties continue to bait until the end of january and some due well into the spring. - V. K.

3/10/2014
I oppose the addition of a statewide, one-week, turkey season in late January, particularly on the eastern shore. It sounds like a great opportunity but I question how anyone will be able to legally pursue the birds. I believe too many will be tempted to bait. We've all seen the trail cam pictures of large flocks of wintering birds in thick, juvenile pine forests. When hunters have observed these flocks coming to the feeders and corn piles all deer season, I am afraid they will keep the bait sites fresh in order to harvest a bird. Quite frankly, there are not nearly enough DNR officers to ensure compliance.

I draw my opinions from my experiences hunting turkeys during the fall and spring in western NY and the eastern shore of MD. I am a long time NWTF member with dozens of longbeards under my belt. I reside in Salisbury and hold a lifetime licesne in my homestate of NY.

For the less experienced turkey hunters out there, you have to ask yourself, ""What tactics am I going to use this week to LEGALLY harvest a bird""? I can answer that question without hesitation from March through May in any state, no matter the terrain. Hunting turkeys when they're not breeding is a completely different game. Generally, they're less vocal (little to no gobbling, yelping), less visible (not strutting in fields, revert to timber) and harder to call in (less vocal). They can be hunted in certain regions but I don't believe the majority of the terrain on the shore would facilitate the traditional methods of fall turkey hunting. January would fall into the same category, unless you bait, and people will!

Maryland should be proud of the fine spring turkey opportunities of late. Any impact on the population, how ever so slight, would impact the the opportunities in the spring. The spring is after all, is the most exciting time to pursue them. - K. F.

3/10/2014
I attended a presentation on the proposed change in hunting regulations in Frederick County. At that time, and again here, I am stating my strong opposition to the proposal of expanding rifle hunting in Frederick County beyond the current limitation to north of I-70. With Frederick County focusing residential development in the southeast portion of the County, this proposal will absolutely endanger the health, safety and welfare of our residents. My home backs to woods and I always hear the blast of hunters' guns. I really don't want to worry about a rifle penetrating my walls, just as it did in the mid-90s near Middletown which led to the current restriction. I recognize the deer problem and a number of other measures have also been proposed. Please consider working with those measures, and NOT expanding the rifle hunting area. - S. McK.

3/10/2014
I request the DNR Abandon plans to permit rifle hunting of deer South of Interstate 70 .this area is being considered for expanded lpopulation grouth and this is a dangerous idea. - E. L.

3/10/2014
I am strongly against expanding rifle hunting south of I-70 in Frederick County. I live in this area. I have had near misses with illegal rifle activity. While working on my car in my driveway, I heard somebody shoot off ten or so rounds rapidly in a wooded area about a half mile from me. I then heard the whirling sound of probable ricochets just above my head. I immediately called 911, but the sheriff was unable to find the individual responsible.

Since a .22 can travel 4 miles, I find this proposed change absolutely ridiculous and negligent. I also find it idiotic that this proposed change originated from a County Commissioner that is pushing for over-development of the same area. Apparently, he neither cares about casualties from firearm accidents nor car accidents from over-loaded dangerous roads. Thanks, W. M.

3/10/2014
Because of the problem with deer overpopulation, perhaps the firearms season could be expanded for specific counties. - M. R.

3/10/2014
I can't believe that you want to open turkey season in the winter and allow us to be able to kill a choice of a hen or male and to not have it count towards the 2 birds you can kill in the spring. This is totally ridiculous! Number one the population of birds is not that great and we don't have that many birds to allow such a dumb thing!! Number two don't you think hunters well use there corn pills for deer to attract the birds! Even if the corn is gone I've seen birds come back to the area and scratch for crumbs. Please give this some serious thought before letting this happen and destroy our population of turkeys here in Maryland!!

3/10/2014
I strongly urge you to reject the request to reduce the shotgun only area in Frederick County south of Interstate 70. This area is highly developed with more intense development approved in the future. Allowing the use of rifles with much higher velocity and distance traveled is not a good idea and could lead to catastrophic results. While I acknowledge that most hunters use good sense I know from experience that not all use common sense and follow safe hunting protocols. Please listen to the local gun clubs who are not in favor as well as the citizens and not the few vocal gun enthusiasts who testify at the meetings. This has worked in the past and will continue to work. - D. H.

3/10/2014
Hunting privilege suspension.

DNR proposal:
Hunting within safety zone of a school.

Response:
I am not against such a proposal but I am concerned about how will the safety zones be posted, if the safety zone is posted properly I have no concerns but for someone to know where the safety zones are without specific posting I am against the proposal I also thing that such signs should be chartreuse in color so they would be more visible at a greater distance.

I do have a request pertaining to hunting on public or park land. That more detailed maps be available to hunters so that there is no mistaking what is public, park or private property so no problems of trespassing occur without know of the trespasser.

DNR proposal:

Sunday deer season:

Deer archery season is open on Sunday November 2, 2014
Muzzle loading season is open on Sundays December 21 and 28 2014 in Carroll County on private land only
Firearm season is open on Sunday November 30, 2014.

Response:

I don't understand way hunting is not allowed on Sundays during each season, if you are allowed to hunt certain days during each season then there is no reason that one can hunt Sundays during the regular season. The excuse because of Blue law and people going to church. Like other Blue laws that were in affect years ago have gone by the road side so should this one. People go shopping on Sunday , play golf, go to local gun clubs, go to local bars and play other sports so to use the Blue law for hunting is more decimation of the hunting group than anything else.
Sunday would be like any other day you have a choice whether you want to go to church or go hunting would be a personal choice and should not be imposed on other people. I request that Sunday be open for hunting through all the hunting seasons.

DNR proposal:
Hunting, possessing or transporting any bear, deer, turkey or migratory waterfowl during closed season or in excess of daily or season limits.

response: Does this include a legally taken bear, deer, turkey or migratory waterfowl during closed season that may be in transport to give to a friend or relative? The way it is written this would be illegal, if this is true then I am against the proposal.

DNR proposal:
Unlawful use of bait.

Response:
This is to vague of a proposal. Does this mean FOOD PLOTS OR BAITING FOR DEER ON PRIVATE PROPERTY? I thing this proposal should be more specific as to was is legal baiting and what is illegal. Unless this is more specific I am against the proposal.

DNR proposal:

Wild Turkey create a seven day either-sex, winter turkey season statewide.

The use of bait for deer hunting is less common after the deer firearm season and landowners/hunters can more easily comply with the baiting prohibition for turkey hunting.

Response:

I am against this proposal because the area I hunt has very few turkeys to speak of and the area I hunt is bow hunting only because of private property location and the landowner wants as many deer harvested as possible to reduce the plant damage that occurs on their property. The best way to do this is by baiting the deer in closer for a clean bow kill. Limiting the use of bait at this time of year creates problems to keep the landowner happy. The owner indicted they want all deer legally killed otherwise there will be no hunting on their property. This is a double edge sword if the deer are not killed then the land owner will stop deer hunting property. I am against this proposal.

3/10/2014
I represent The assoc. for wildlife management in Md.
Suggestions pertaining to the 2014-2016 black bear hunt in Md.

  1. The reimbursement to farmers for crop damage should not be solely dependent on wildlife stamp sales.
  2. The public should have access to the current bear population and the decided number to be harvested by the D.N.R..
  3. When considering the number of bears harvested, road kill and those killed by disgruntled farmers should be included in the total count.
  4. Hunters should call in after 9 P.M. on day 3 of the hunt giving the D.N.R. control over the total number harvested and opportunity to halt the hunt if necessary. A gap in the natural food chain could result in a early harvest.
  5. No harvesting of female bears (sows) accompanied with cubs. Cubs over 17 months old have already dispersed by Oct.
  6. The allowed use of only high powered rifles in the hunt.

Thank you for your consideration, E. F., D.V.M.

3/10/2014
APR is a bad idea. The anti crowd already believes that hunting is a bloodsport and this will reinforce that perception. Without any scientific based information to back up the need for APR we are just setting ourselves up for additional negative attention. - Larry

3/10/2014
I am opposed to any restrictions in Region A or B, yes hunters can shoot a doe for meat but with limited time in the woods, if all they see are spikes and forkies, then let to restrict them based on anything but science is not sound management practice.

3/10/2014
Maryland deer numbers are too high, enacting any type of antler restrictions does only one thing and that is pandering to the QDMA crowd. Big bucks are nice but not why most people in this state hunt. Please see below from MD DNR website. A majority of hunters do not favor APR.

C. Mason Ross Associates' survey reported that less than 4 percent of Maryland deer hunters considered taking a trophy as the most important reason for deer hunting. Deer population control, recreation and food topped the list as the three most important reasons for deer hunting.

3/10/2014
I strongly oppose the increase in Sika bag limits. As a landowner for the last 15 years, I have seen a steady decline in the population. This, along with an increasing coyote population, and increase in hunting pressure on public lands, does not support the change in bag limits. If there are a few farms with crop damage, then additional permits could be issued for those farms only. It does not make sense to change the regulations for the entire state when only a few areas are impacted.

I also strongly oppose the January turkey season. The population has stabilized, as harvest numbers have indicated, and additional hunting would be contraindicated. It should be noted that most hunters with feeders will maintain them until the end of the bow season in January. This would not only invite an opportunity for intentional violations, but also unintentional violations. - J. W.

3/10/2014
On average, MD hunters purchase approx 120k licenses per year, please do not let groups like Marylandwhitetail.com and QDMA, who only represent a very small fraction of MD hunters, sway the DNR in imposing APR. I am opposed to APR. - M. G.

3/10/2014
I am strongly opposed to any type of antler restrictions. I primarily hunt Patapsco areas and although I have seen and shot several nice bucks in the 140 range, if people want to kill bigger bucks all they have to do is walk a little further and they will find them, especially during the rut. - J. M.

3/10/2014
You cannot eat the antlers and the average hunter cannot afford to mount a buck, so please do not institute any antler restrictions. I am also apposed to the winter turkey proposals.

3/10/2014
Deer hunting in Maryland used to be fun, but with the advent of the Interweb and social media, the ""minority"" push for APR is really taking a toll on what hunting should be, especially for youth hunters. I am against APR. -Meghan

3/10/2014
Antler restrictions do nothing but make taxidermists happy, say no to APR. - H. W.

3/10/2014
I am against the winter turkey hunting season. This stand is taken for 2 reasons.
One, is the numbers of turkey seems to always be in flux,up one year down the next. I realize that populations are cycilical, with winter and wet springs not helping population dynamics.
Second,I don't know a single deer hunter that is willing to remove his/her bait in a timely manner. The thought is to ""let 'em clean it up"".
I feel that it's impossible to manage the baiting issue by saying...no bait 10 days before season,by then they (turkeys) are accustomed to the hand out.
Thank-You. - R. S.

3/10/2014
I am against the winter turkey hunting season on the Eastern Shore. This stand is taken for 2 reasons.
One, is the numbers of turkey seems to always be in flux,up one year down the next. I realize that populations are cycilical, with winter and wet springs not helping population dynamics.
Second,I don't know a single deer hunter that is willing to remove his/her bait in a timely manner. The thought is to ""let 'em clean it up"".
I feel that it's impossible to manage the baiting issue by saying...no bait 10 days before season,by then they (turkeys) are accustomed to the hand out.
Thank-You. - R. S.

3/9/2014
I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT I AM ALL FOR A MID TO LATE JANUARY TURKEY SEASON, EITHER SEX. - C. N.

3/9/2014
I think that all the proposed changes will be good for both the hunter and the wildlife in the state. - D. G.

3/9/2014
Hello, I don't know why you want to turn Md. into a state that where a regular guy will not to be able to hunt in 6 or 7 years! We sure don't need anymore restrictions on bucks or anything else. No antler point restriction is needed at all no way no time!! I have a lot of private land that we help farmers with. I have to work 5 hours every Saturday why cant we bow hunt on Sunday ? if we have to work to pay our taxes to pay for your all paychecks ? THANK YOU. G. C.

3/9/2014
In reference to your proposal to create a seven day, either sex, winter wild turkey season statewide, I am a retired Natural Resource Police officer and I have been hunting in Maryland for 49 years. I remember when the only place to hunt turkeys in the state was western Maryland, then the DNR was trying to raise turkeys and release them into the wild with little success then the trap and transfer method was tried with much success and have brought the turkeys to every county of the state. Maryland has brought a good population of turkeys to all twenty-three counties and I wouldn't want to see the population go down any further than what seems to be a downward trend the last eight years. The past several years there has been a downturn in the number of turkeys taken in the state, was this due to predation, less number of successful broods, weather or over hunting.

I do not hunt turkeys in the fall but do not want to take that opportunity away from anyone that wants to hunt. My problem with a season late in year statewide is how stressed the birds may be especially with the weather we have been experiencing. During stressful times the winter flocks of turkeys will be attracted to the legal corn that is put out by the deer hunters. The turkeys will come to rely on this handout, just asked all of the turkey that were lured to the canon nets during the trap and transfer phase of the introduction of turkeys to the rest of the state. Hunters see the deer and the flocks of turkeys there on their bait pile and may continue with their baiting of deer and then hunt turkeys over the corn in the January season that is proposed.

With the number of deer and with the invasion of Chronic Wasting Disease I would like to see DNR make it illegal to hunt all game species in the state with the aid of bait period. - D. H.

3/9/2014
I live and hunt in Region B on a managed hunt permit in Patapsco State Park. I am opposed to the ARP restriction. Region B is densely populated with 1.5 deer breeding at the age. For the purposes of managing the herds I think it would be counter productive to introduce the ARP. - K. W.

3/9/2014
I am a farmer that is having major crop damage from sika deer I would hope you raise the limit to help control population.

3/9/2014
I would like to see the limit raised on sika deer they are out of control in Dorchester county cant have a garden for the out of control population

3/8/2014

  1. I support DNR being able to suspend licenses administratively- too many serial poachers avoid suspension by paying out fines before going to Court. I also support the wanton waste regs. I just hope that DNR exercises good discretion in exercising both of these.
  2. I do not support an increase in sika bag limits. The graph suggests that about 577 shot one sika hind and 164 shot two hinds in rifle season: 577+ (164x2) = 905. With the current structure, many sika hunters shoot a hind but hold off on a second hind hoping for a stag. I suspect many of the 577 would have shot a second hind and then waited if they had three tags, and a few of 164 would have shot a third hind. The presentation suggests that only the 164 would be in the running for a third hind, but the bigger impact will be those that take a second hind with three tags in their pocket. I can see an additional 300 - 500 hinds taken easily with a third tag. Add that to 900 and you have 1200- 1400 hinds just in rifle season. Muzzleloader is just as popular, so now you're taking 2400- 2800 hinds, plus additional bow kill PLUS ????? damage permits PLUS a separate Blackwater bag limit: all from a population estimated at 10,000. Given their lower reproductive rate, I believe this rate of harvest could negatively impact sika deer populations. They've done pretty well in a harsh environment; if its not broke, don't fix it.
  3. In addition I strongly support the new bear regs, the new trapping regs, the new dove regs.
  4. In general I support additional restrictions, but feel the proposed APR would have little impact. I would rather see two buck tags, hunters choice to use in any season on any size buck they wish. I feel that will encourage selectivity for most hunters without punishing those that decide to shoot a smaller buck. - J. N.

3/8/2014
I am all for a winter turkey hunt! Being a truck driver, I see many birds in the fields on winter days.

I would also like to see an expansion of Sunday hunting, especially in AA County. As a single parent, it is very difficult to take time off during the week to hunt. Also, many times I must work on Saturdays to make ends meet. Sunday hunting would greatly improve the chances of filling the freezer, as my daughters and I love venison. Thank you. - J. C.

3/8/2014
Suggest consideration of re-wording of the following:
„X Hunting, possessing or transporting any bear, deer, turkey or migratory waterfowl during closed season or in excess of daily or season limits [10-403(a); 10-403(b); 10-404(c); 08.03.03.01] ¡V 1 year

As it is written, possession would include in one¡¦s home, meaning that possessing wild game in your freezer after the conclusion of the season would be in violation of the law.

Also, shooting a deer on the evening of the last day of the season and then recovering the deer the following morning would be in violation of the laws as currently written. - D. A.

3/8/2014
I would like to comment on the antler point restriction and say that i fully support this regulaton change. i am a avid deer hunter and i get out in the woods whenever i can. the current deer population in region A is terrible, the buck to doe ratio is way out of proportion mainly due to people shooting the first buck they see. when your a hunter like me who wants to kill a trophy deer it is very frustrating to see people kill young bucks so i fully support this regulation change and hope that it goes into effect.

3/8/2014
The DNR has not provided a reasonable or rational explanation for what the state hopes to achieve through the imposition of an Antler Point Restriction (APR). The DNR should not impose an APR.

The DNR's statement that the majority of bucks harvested in Region A are yearlings does not overcome the fact that even Region A continues to have an abundance of white-tailed deer. In fact, the DNR's harvesting limits for Region A suggest that there is, in fact, a reasonable balance between male and female whitetail deer in Region A. Imposing an APR for Region A will, in all likelihood, upset the whitetail population balance that currently exists. The DNR should not impose an APR for Region A.

Turning to Region B, the DNR admits freely that ""Current yearling buck harvest rates are not a significant management concern for the Department, particularly in Region B."" Despite DNR's lack of concern with yearling buck harvests in Region B, DNR still seeks to impose an APR for Region B. For lack of a better explanation, the DNR appears to be seeking to mitigate a problem that does not exist through unsound population management. Such an imposition, which is based neither on science nor sound wildlife management, makes absolutely no sense, particularly inasmuch as Region B suffers from a significant and growing whitetail deer population. Leaving additional bucks to breed within an already massive population of does would only lead to even greater population growth in Region B. The bottom line is that it makes no sense whatsoever to impose an APR for Region B. The DNR should not impose an APR for Region B.

At a scientific level, the suggested APR is irrational. There are many yearling bucks that have 2 points or more per antler. Moreover, spikes are not limited to yearlings. There are mature bucks in the population that will never be anything more than spikes. In both cases, it is a matter of genetics. Eliminating only bucks with 2 points or more per antler would do nothing to mitigate this fact. The reality is that the proposed APR is not based on sound scientific evidence. Rather the proposed APR appears to be based on the desires of trophy hunters to skew what would otherwise be sound wildlife management principles.

If trophy hunters wish to find ""quality deer"" with more antler points and bigger antler spreads, then there are many to be found in the state of Maryland. However, to find those deer will require more effort than walking a few hundred yards into the woods. The DNR should not base regulation changes on pressure from trophy hunters, particularly in a state that in one region has successfully managed the gender balance of the deer population, while in the other region it struggles to re-establish that balance. Just say ""NO"" to Antler Point Restrictions! - D. K.

3/8/2014

Greetings, Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations.

I would like to emphasize the point that deer populations in Maryland are too high and that hunting regulations should be crafted to reduce populations as much as possible.

I spend a lot of time outdoors in Montgomery and Frederick Counties. I see herds of deer on a weekly basis. There is daily evidence that there are too many white-tailed deer. Peoples gardens are devastated. Soybean crops are grazed down as if they had been bush hogged. Dwarf apple trees get savaged. The forest understory is gone, creating a world of problems for the plants and wildlife that live there. You can now ski through much of the forest in my area as the deer have pruned out all the lower branches, eaten all the shrub layer, and prevented new trees from establishing. Many of our forests have no next generation of trees coming along. Old favorite wildflower walks now have no wildflowers. Driving at dusk is increasingly hazardous and each car-deer crash costs thousands of dollars and risks serious personal injury.

From what I hear, the high deer populations contribute to the increased incidence of Lyme disease in my area. From what I read, dense deer populations make it more likely that chronic wasting disease will take hold and spread. The published info on deer populations is that there are more deer in the mid-Atlantic states today than there were when Columbus arrived five hundred years ago.

This all supports the conclusion that there are too many deer in Maryland. I've heard the opinion expressed that there are not enough deer for hunting. I wonder if some of those folks have confused the terms ""hunting"" and ""harvesting"". As long as I see deer every night as I drive home I find it hard to believe we have a shortage.

Thanks, - J. S.

3/8/2014
I support all of the proposed changes, especially the winter turkey season. - M. W.

3/7/2014
I am in favor of the APR proposed for whitetail deer in Maryland. APR have been proven to be beneficial to deer population structures in many areas and would be beneficial to Maryland. - Ed

3/7/2014
I am not for the fall turkey season in the other part of the state (Eastern Shore) We are still goose and duck hunting and bow hunting. We put corn out for the deer throughout the month of January and have turkeys coming to the bait all the time. Hunters will take advantage of this. There is no need for a January season when the Spring season will only be 3 months away from this proposed January season. Guns will be going off while bow hunting. Leave it as is. There has be no one in my circle that supports a FALL turkey season no matter the month. Thank You, L. D.

3/7/2014
Have waterfowl seasons duck and goose end on the same day. Having the seasons beginning and ending on different days is too complicated. Having them begin on different days and end on the same day would be easier to remember. - G. M.

3/7/2014
I notice that Sunday Hunting is still limited to private lands in certain counties for Archery only. It still amazes me that Maryland is one of the few states left that has Sunday hunting restrictions. It is a proven fact that not allowing hunting on Sunday or any day of the week has no Wildlife Management benefit. This practice is purely political and stems from the old blue laws back when you couldn't do anything but go to church on Sunday. One of the main concerns of the DNR is continuing budget shortfalls. Allowing Sunday hunting could cure a portion of this. There is a number of individuals that only get one day a week off from work - which is usually Sunday. How many more non-resident hunting licenses would be sold if you could hunt geese on Sunday. How much more revenue would this pump into the local economies through guides, convenience stores, etc. which also brings the state monies through sales tax. I think it is very short sighted to continue to not allow hunting on Sundays. Please consider allowing all types of hunting on Sundays on all lands. If a private landowner doesn't want somebody hunting on his property on Sunday that would still be his choice. - R. W.

3/7/2014
Only hunting for less than 10 and studying deer populations, behavor I agree with the Antler Restrictions to protect a majority of young bucks. It is neccessary to balance the herd with a varied age structure. Removing a large number of young bucks will lead to no mature bucks. Hunters now a days have so much tested information available to them, that they should keep up with the research, collect their own data and practice QDM for the betterment of the deer herd and the other flora and fauna. - Quiet Hunter

3/7/2014
I am opposed to the new proposed regulation(s) Leave them as is! - H. L. F.

3/7/2014
Reduce deer bag limits on state and public property. Excluding, 65 and older and youth hunters. - S. S.

3/7/2014
I am against APR, Maryland does not need it. - Sean

3/7/2014
I am totally against the proposed AR's. Hunting has become all about trophy bucks, hunters used to be happy with whatever they killed.

3/7/2014
I am AGAINST the APR. Please do not cave to the QDMA organization.

3/7/2014
APR has it's pro's (bigger racks) but the biggest concern is that it forces people into what they can and cannot shoot. I am opposed to the APR in any fashion. - K. G.

3/7/2014
I and my conservation club (Bethesda-Chevy Chase Izaak Walton League) would like to see MDNR push heavily to open up sunday hunting. It's completely unfair to limit the blue collar, mon - fri citizen to only being able to hunt one day per week! Please work with every potential avenue to get sunday hunting opened up for the entire deer season! Also, please contact me if you have other ways I or the 1000 members of my conservation group can encourage this to happen.

Thanks, - A. O.

3/7/2014
I submit these comments as a responsible hunter, citizen of Maryland, and resident of Anne Arundel County.

I fully support the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposal to establish a process for the suspension of hunting and trapping privileges pursuant to a conviction on certain hunting/trapping related violations.

I fully support the creation of a seven day, either-sex, winter wild turkey season statewide. I also support the proposal to shift the fall turkey season to open two Saturdays prior to the Junior Deer Hunt.

I support the antler restriction proposal and believe it will improve the retention of yearling bucks and should increase the harvest of does. Too many hunters will harvest a four point buck standing next to a doe, simply because it has antlers. I believe that if the antler point restriction is implemented, the existing requirement to harvest two antlerless deer prior to harvesting a second antlered deer within a weapon season using a bonus antlered deer stamp should be eliminated.

Lastly, I encourage DNR to continue its support for legislative efforts to amend Maryland law to expand Sunday deer hunting opportunities. Many hunters work Monday through Friday and are only able to hunt on the weekends (Saturday). This often makes it difficult for deer hunters to balance family and hunting time effectively. At a minimum, deer hunting should be allowed on all Sundays (in season) on private lands. If the land to be hunted is private, access is ultimately up to the land owner. If the landowner wishes to allow hunting on Sundays he should have the right and opportunity to give his/her hunters that permission. - T. V.

3/7/2014
Not in favor of a Jan. turkey season. Thanks. - E. O.

3/7/2014
I support the extension of the fox trapping season. - C. M.

3/7/2014
Under Hunting Privilege Violations, fifth bullet:
Hunting, possessing or transporting any bear, deer, turkey or migratory waterfowl during closed season or in excess of daily or season limits [10-403(a); 10-403(b); 10-404(c); 08.03.03.01] – 1 year

As written it would be illegal to possess meat in your freeze during closed season. It would then be necessary to eat all your meat by the end of the season. This should be rewritten to indicate possession of meat during closed season in excess of the season limit.

I would think that second part after the ""OR"" would be meant to be as during the season. -G. W.

3/7/2014
The winter turkey season is a terrible idea! The woods are full of bait piles in Jan and turkeys love them as much as the deer. Enforcement nightmare!!

Quite a few counties in the state are slowly growing their turkey populations, and now you want to open a statewide season where hens will make up the majority of the harvest. These are the birds needed to grow the population. This makes no scientific sense. A third gobbler in the Spring would make more sense and have no effect on the population.

Please do not go forward with this idea. - D. A.

3/6/2014
I am in support of the proposed changes. - M. M.

3/6/2014
Subject: Doe harvest reduction

I would like to see the doe harvest reduced in Region A. The proposed reduction from three does to two does would only result in a small reduction to the overall harvest, because most people are not killing three does in Region A. Further doe harvest reduction could be attained by reducing the hunting days available for doe, especially at the end of rifle season on private ground. - G. M.

3/6/2014
I think proposals on bear regs are good.i think apr on deer should be no more than one with less than 3pts per side. - R. C.

3/6/2014
All Concerned-

Turkey: I have no objections to the proposed turkey season regulation changes, and actually like the idea of the week long January season. Not once in the 15 years I’ve hunted turkeys have I been able to work my schedule where I can actually take advantage of the fall season and hunt turkeys. I will be able to utilize the January season though if the proposed change is adopted.

Deer: I am for antler restrictions statewide although I think it would be better utilized in region A. We have almost a thousand acres in Alleghany County and 40 in Howard County. Bucks older than 1.5 years old with three or more points on one side are rarely seen on the 1000 acre property, where 2-5 year old 8 points or better are regularly seen and taken on the 40 acre piece. The western counties have a serious deer herd issue and the population has steadily decreased in the last ten years. On the property in Alleghany County I have personally gone from seeing 60+ deer a day during a week of gun season to maybe ten during that whole week today. What I do see in large numbers now are bears and coyotes.

Bear: Eliminating the requirement that bear hunting permittees and subpermittees maintain visual contact while bear hunting is a good idea. In my opinion forcing a group to stay within visual contact of each other has to be one of the most ridiculous hunting regulations in Maryland. I’ll be happy if the regulation is changed and I am lucky enough o actually draw a tag…. I disagree with the other proposed bear changes since it doesn’t do anything to actually change how the bear season is actually set up. I disagree how hunters from the western counties have a better chance of drawing tags just because they live in those counties. I live in central Maryland but own 1000 acres in Alleghany County and have less a chance of drawing a bear tag. The one year I did there was a death in the family and I was unable to use the tag by the time the season ended.
I have what I feel is a better way to manage the Maryland bear population. I would let every Maryland resident purchase a bear tag along with their license. I would leave the quota phone line in place although allow for a lot more bears to be taken. That way if I am archery hunting deer and a bear walks by I can legally take that bear as long as the years bear quota has not been reached. It will be the hunter’s responsibility to know if the bear season is closed yet. With today’s technology it would not be difficult to know before each hunt if the bear season is still open. I am sure the state would pull in a lot more money from license sales to and let’s be honest; that’s all Maryland is about anyway.
- M. B.

3/6/2014
We, my wife and I, (like others that have commented) also hunt only for meat. Unless bucks are all that are available, We'd much rather harvest mature does. I have a family of 5 venison eaters. You can't eat antlers, and buck quarters have to hang a lot longer anyway. Therefore, we do not have an issue with the proposed APR. I do, however, propose some sort of expansion of the shotgun season in region B. I keep seeing reports that deer are at ""infestation"" levels in some Maryland counties. 2 weeks and 2 days is not long enough in counties that have the highest deer population problem (i.e. Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, etc.). Why not expand the season, at least a bit? An extra week in December? More days in January? Add Sundays (VERY useful)? This will allow greater hunter participation, especially for citizen hunters like myself that work for a living. The expanded hunting period would eliminate extra time that I (and others) would need to take off from work. I'm a Sr. Linux/UNIX systems engineer...so...time off is hard to come by. Also, I've scoured the web, but I haven't found an easy to navigate site that has easy to understand details on qualifying for managed hunts, especially at facilities like the BARC. If no site exists...can one be created? Thank you - E. R.

3/6/2014
I am opposed to APR. It should only be VOLUNTARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - R. D.

3/6/2014
I would like to see unlimited sunday hunting on private property. - R. S.

3/6/2014
While I support the suspension and/or revocation of hunting licenses for the offences listed I believe that suspension or revocation should only be imposed by a court of law. Allowing the DNR to impose additional penalties outside of the legal process, whether or not the hunter in question has appeared in court, deprives citizens of due process. - T. H.

3/6/2014
I'd like to suggest removing the requirement that archery hunters wear fluorescent orange during firearm season if they're hunting public lands that prohibit firearms, like Loch Raven or Prettyboy Reservoirs. - E. D.

I'd also like to see expansion of Sunday hunting, but realize this isn't within the DNR's rule making abilities.

3/6/2014
Deer Archery Hunting! Suggest you propose and add 1 or 2 days of Sunday deer hunting in January towards the end of the Archery season. - J. P.

3/6/2014
Hunting Privilege Suspension: In order to meet constitutional requirements for due process, an appeal process for DNR ordered suspensions equal to judiciary appeal processes needs to be included.

Proposed Changes for Deer, Frederick County Shotgun Only Zone. Please provide exact description of said revised zone. Our right to comment appropriately is not feasible with current description from the proposed changes, as follows:

" . . . to include more of the suburban area around the city of Frederick and less of the rural area to the south of Route 70."

What are the exact boundaries being changed? - J. M.

3/6/2014
The proposed changes to the law appear reasonable. - C. T. R., Jr.

3/6/2014
I am not in favor of the automatic license suspensions as proposed.

3/6/2014
I really like this proposal. Thank You MD DNR. Please make it happen. - R. B.

3/6/2014
I think the white tail buck antler point restriction is a great idea. Also a winter turkey season for all of Maryland would also be a great improvement. - M. C.

3/6/2014
I believe that some of the new penalty's for violations are very harsh given the fact that a hunter can be put in a situation of violation without even knowing that may be the case. I think there are many violations that are made by law abiding hunters every year. There are many laws that hunters are not aware of and the codes are way to complicated. Simplification of the laws would make it much easier for good hunters and youths to understand. Thank you for your consideration. - R. R.

3/6/2014
I really like the proposed winter turkey season! - I. G.

3/6/2014
Lengthy and complicated hard to understand??? - C. H.

3/6/2014
Item 08.03.02.19 should not impact ability to hunt . A hunter could could drop an empty shell and be caused of littering and be penalized . This should clearly defined not such a wide scope.

Item 08.03.02.20 should also be more clearly defined . Damage of public property ? What defines this damage . Is it as minor as you sat on a bench and it broke so you could lose your privileges.

Both of these laws sound as if they could easily be abused. - D. G.

3/6/2014
Hello, I hunt in Western Washington County under zone A. I do hear alot of comment about the lack of anterless deer but that's not the case in the area I hunt. I see about 15 anterless deer to one buck so I feel a cut in the anterless bag limit is not what I want to hear. I am a bow hunter and would like to propose that we could harvest 2 anterless deer with a bow instead of havesting only 1 deer as this is the current limit. If we would havest 2 deer then we would not be able to harvest another anterless deer with a rifle or Muzzleloader since it seems we are going to go down to a 2 deer limit. I talked to Brian Eyler with the DNR and he feels that would have little impact on the anterless deer harvest and he felt OK about that move and he had never thought about doing that before. Thanks for your time, W. S.

3/6/2014
I am in favor of the changes proposed to the number of Sika Deer that may be taken by either, bow, muzzle loader, fir arms. The three Sika Deer limit, only one antlered, is an excellent idea and will provide more days in the field for the Maryland Hunters.

I also agree with the additional seven day, either sex, winter wild turkey season statewide. The season beginning on the third Saturday in January is also an excellent time to allow hunters to remain hunting. The exclusion of the use of rifles is also excellent idea to me. Having it occur after the deer season closed would allow hunters to enjoy the outdoors more too. - F. M.

3/6/2014
Good Afternoon Good People of MD DNR, I like much of what I have read for the proposed changes. I have a request for a slight alteration to the proposed Dove seasons and a question regarding same. It would provide better opportunities for late season dove hunting to take the 11 days allotted in October and move them to December to start the December split a bit earlier; OR it would be better still to add those 11 days to the end of the season for more days in January. The rationale for this suggestion is this: By the end of September, most of the local breeding doves are gone and few migratory birds have arrived. Hunter interest has all but evaporated with the Archery deer season getting going, and in a typical year not many hunters even bother to dove hunt after the first week or two in September. By adding days to the end of the season we have more opportunity to harvest birds that migrate into the area for the winter, and food sources are again becoming a critical factor in where you can have a successful dove hunt. The question is what is the federal framework for these three seasons, and are we being allowed any extra days to compensate for the Sundays where this type of hunting is prohibited still & likely to remain so? Thank you. - G. A.

3/6/2014
I would first like to extend my appreciation to all the dedicated individuals in the MD DNR who work tirelessly to ensure the wise management of the resource. I support all of the proposals put forth, particularly those that offer expanded opportunities for hunters. In the few instances where some restrictions are proposed, (doe harvest reduction in Region A for example), if it is based upon sound scientific data that suggests a benefit, I would support it. The APR is certainly a controversial issue. Although I have a self-imposed APR, I am generally opposed to making APR mandatory across the board. In this case however, I find the exemption of junior hunters and the requirement that only one of the three antlered deer taken to meet the restriction to be a very reasonable compromise. However, I would not be in favor of expanding upon that restriction to apply to juniors in the future. - D. A.

3/6/2014
Certain areas of Frederick county, such as the Frederick City Watershed and similar public hunting areas, are clearly not suburban. Would the proposed changes to the shotgun only areas continue to allow rifles in these places? - S. E.

3/6/2014
allow sunday hunting during the entire season for upland game. this will provide more opportunity and boost the local economy.allow 4 wheeler access to cfl with a handicapped permit. - A. R.

3/6/2014
Glad to see ape proposal, would like to see one less buck but this is a start. This will helprheall the people that are doing this now. Also feel 2 doe proposal is fine farmers are controlling a lot with crop damage permits. - E. S.

3/6/2014
As a matter of public safety on Maryland roads - I strongly support increasing the length of Deer Season as well as increasing the bag limits on Deer during the season. - C. B.

3/6/2014
As far as the winter turkey season, I am opposed to the no rifle regulation in the 2 Western MD counties for the simple fact that there is a bag limit already in place & if it is adhered to, it should not matter if the hunter chooses to hunt with a rifle over a shotgun. I can understand the spring season being limited to shotgun only, because of breeding, but this is not a concern during the winter season. I myself, rarely hunt the spring season for both of the reasons I mentioned. As a landowner in Garrett Co, I feel that the poaching problem is out of control and needs to be addressed more than putting more restrictions on the law abiding hunter. Imposing more restrictions WILL NOT stop the habitual poaching, that in my opinion, needs to be dealt with. I understand that DNR officers are spread thin for the area that they must cover but I feel that this issue needs more attention.

As far as the APR, it is my belief they the regulation should be 3 points on 1 antler minimum with N0 smaller bucks allowed in any number, except for crop damage on necessary tracts of land (i.e. tree farms etc.).

The license fees for residents, for both hunting & fishing, have skyrocketed over the last decade which I feel is unreasonable compared to what hunters & fisherman get in return.

Unfortunately, I neither have the time nor the inclination to write a book here about the other game laws that in my opinion, need to be addressed but I do appreciate you time to review my comments. Thank You. - R. V.

3/6/2014
I support the proposal to extend fox trapping season by 2 weeks. - G. S.

3/6/2014
I support the proposal to extend fox trapping season by 2 weeks. - L. S.

3/6/2014
Strongly oppose the APR regulation. The entire State does not need another useless regulation. I understand Region A has issues but Region B does not need to be included as a ""COMPROMISE"" to quiet the polarizing QDMA. - F. P.

3/6/2014
I cant say enough that Maryland has the potential to produce whitetails like Midwest states. looking at the health of the herds in the Midwest its should be obvious that they have built the right structure in their states to maintain those herds. I stress that we follow the same laws as iowa based on the size of bucks they produce the numbers of there herds and health of the herds in general. iowa has set laws in place to not only insure healthy herds and larger bucks but they also take care of the resident hunters before anyone else. they only allow non-residents a chance to hunt every few years and charge for pints to be accumulated before being able to draw a tag. if we follow the same rules and regulations they have then we will produce just as they do and maintain happier resident hunters. I even believe that instead of allowing each resident hunter 3 bucks a year as they do that we only allow our hunters to take two bucks a year. we should also make it mandatory to go to a check in station to check deer in. not continue the call service. its to easy for hunters to falsify shooting two does so they can shoot a second buck which I am confident and know people do. this ruins the figures on harvest records and directly effects our rules and regulations. with computers installed in check in stations they could check in all deer over the internet insuring to help keep hunters honest about what they shoot. simply provide the check in station with a code/number that must be typed in to finalize the check in. this is just my opinion I know but if you were to take a survey then I have no doubt you would see a huge positive result agreement with what I have said. another thing I feel needs to be approached is the amount of money that farmers are charging for hunting rights. it is the landowners right to do so but the issue is the number of them that receive thousands of dollars and then sum in cash money and I know do not report it on their taxes. if I have to pay taxes for money I earn then they should to. especially the amounts they receive. thanks for your time. - D. W.

3/6/2014
Allow a total of 2 antlered bucks (all seasons) with a 6 point minimum so we can see more nice bucks in future years. PA hunters that I know and have spoken to are excited about the nice bucks being harvested in their state.
Too many crop damages being issued in Carroll County! - B. H.

3/6/2014
I am adamantly opposed to the proposed institution of rules allowing the DNR to revoke hunting licenses, especially revoking licenses for first offenses. - J. B.

3/5/2014
First again thanks for the opportunity to provide input.
Hunting privilege suspensions: Several of the recommended lengths of suspension are too lenient. Any trespass or poaching conviction should be a mandatory loss of equipment used during the violation and suspension of 2 years. Littering on state land is not equivalent to killing out of season or trespassing.

Extended dove season: neutral. Dove harvest is heavily front loaded because it is still warm out and therefore a majority of hunters put off pursuing deer or waterfowl till cooler temps or the deer gun seasons kick in. Is it a concern that deer harvest goals will decrease due to an increase in dove hunting activities during the cooler days when most hunters are focused more heavily on deer?

Wild turkey:
1. Against. Your rational seems significantly flawed. Most people that I know who do bait do not go out and clean their bait stations up after gun season. They run them till the very end of January for bow and some squirrel hunt near them into February. So you also have potential conflicts still existing. Should not be statewide as some areas have a small population that still needs time to grow.
2. Neutral

Black Bear:
1. For
2. For
3. For

Furbearers:
1. Neutral
2. For
3. For
4. No opinion
I would also add that fox can be taken by bow starting October 1st.

Deer:
1. Against as written. Useless as most hunters do not take 3 bucks. Therefore the impact will have little desired effect. If needed for region A due to overly high harvest of yearling bucks then have it for region A. If the desire is to focus increased harvest on antlerless deer to balance the heard in region B then have it as 2 bucks, hunters choice, allowable total with a bonus tag that meets a minimum number of points/spread, and costs $20 or $25

2. Dependent on #1. Are they at carrying capacity? Hunters should not expect to see herds of deer every outing.

Sika Deer:
1. Totally against. Rational is flawed. No way is hunting pressure moderate. There are more and more hunters chasing sika, it is nearly impossible to find private land to hunt due to it already being hunted or leased, more and more out of state hunters hitting public land or paying outfitters. Increased pressure and rising water levels are more likely to blame for increased sightings outside the traditional boundaries. Increases in harvest are most likely due to increased number of hunters in the field. If there are increased crop damage complaints then let’s figure out a way to get hunters on those properties. Density numbers stated are most likely in very specific areas where hunters cannot get access like in more watery/marshy areas, remote areas, or private land without hunters on it. With the increase in hunters the deer are pushed to these sanctuaries.

2. Totally against. Same flawed theories/numbers. Increase hunter access to all this overpopulated private farm land. Really increase the bag limit so someone who travels can feel they got their monies worth? No need to increase bag limit to appease hunters who travel to hunt Sika. I travel 2.5 hours one way and do not want this.
thanks - MD hunter/resident

3/5/2014
I believe the Janurary turkey season is a mistake. If you think baiting is an issue in the spring, it will be out of control when turkeys are most vulnerable.The food sorce in garrett county in the winter is very limited. If this does happen , it should be hens only.

As far as the point restriction , I think it is way over due. We all know big antlers sell hunting license and money equals the ability to help help recover our deer population and quality. The two weeks I spend in the Midwest hunting large bucks, could be spent here in Maryland . Thanks for the ability for comment. - B. F .

3/5/2014
I support the fox trapping season to extend with fox hunting. Now the user groups will have equal time. I also support the other three trapping proposals. - D. B.

3/5/2014
I support all four trapping proposals. - R. B.

3/5/2014
I support the deer APR . I also support the 4 proposals on trapping, especially fox trapping to end with fox hunting. - D. B., IV

3/5/2014
I support all proposed changes for forest game and whitetail deer. I also support the proposal to add 20 days to the dove season. - W. E.

3/5/2014
I live and own property in Garrett County and I am a hunter. I have been practicing QDMA in a Garrett Co co-op and have seen great results. I think the state would benefit from QDMA practices. I would like to see a more aggressive approach with lowering the buck kill. I would also like to say I am opposed to the winter turkey hunt. Our turkey hunting is good now and I feel it would ruin what we have. Thank you. L. V.

3/5/2014
I feel Fox trapping should be extended to end with hunting. - C. G.

3/5/2014
I live in Allegany county and hunt there and garrett on public land,im all for the apr but seriously just 1 of 3 bucks?there is hardly anyone up here that harvest 3 bucks a year for this regulation to even have any effect on the herd.if you guys don't want to jump in full throttle then atleast make it to where 2 of the 3 bucks have to be 3pts to a side,and how about adding sundays and on public land statewide,us average guys that work all week would love to get out in the woods more than 1 day a week....other than that I fully support everything else proposed.

3/5/2014
Please extend the crow season, even if you reduce the days per week. Changing to Thursday-Saturday would increase the season span throughout the year by 25%.

Please enact the winter turkey season. - T. B.

3/5/2014
I am opposed to any antler restrictions. You say many ask for antler restrictions but it obvious from harvest records that many hunters are quite happy to shoot any buck. Hunting isn't about antlers for everybody and it is nobody else's business to tell me what I should shoot, especially since it isn't biologically necessary.

Increase the sika bag limits.

I support the additional turkey season.

3/5/2014
As a landowner, hunter, and conservationist, the exotic sika deer population is now out of control creating significant damage to our fragile habitats and competition with native species. The Department should do everything possible to not only stablilize, but reduce the population, and contain range expansion. The proposed regulation to increase harvest is a start but additional measures will be necessary in the future to adequately address the current and growing issues.

3/5/2014
I will try to keep this short in hopes you have many comments to read:

  1. I am VERY STRONGLY OPPOSED to the APR proposal for Whitetail deer in Region B! Unneeded and unwanted regulation! As I am sure that you have paid attention to the MarylandWhitetail.com thread pertaining to this regulation, I will point to MANY points made in opposition of this regulation as my rationale.
  2. I am VERY STRONGLY OPPOSED to the increase in sika bag limits. The sika herd is NOT expanding as suggested by hunting observations by myself and ALL public land hunters I talk with. Additionally, the significant increase in Sika Hunter numbers on public land as well as the increase in coyote populations are already increasing the pressure on the hinds. I suggest that no more is needed. I realize Mr. Eyler's mailed survey suggests no change in hunter recruitment/participation but mere observation on public land during the various seasons would STRONGLY suggest otherwise!!! Additionally, I do NOT support any future proposal for APR's on sika deer.
  3. I oppose the January Turkey proposal. Rather, a small/short fall season in region B would be supported and requested.
  4. I support the expansion of the Dove season as proposed.
  5. This is not proposed currently but I would love to know why there is still a Bobwhite Quail season throughout Maryland??? The Bobwhite Quail is a travesty of wildlife management in Maryland. The days of my youth, hearing and seeing covey's of quail, are LONG GONE. I don't understand why a moratorium has not been put in place to attempt to help a struggling species recover in the Free State? I do realize that hunting is not the only reason for the dramatic loss of this population but to continue to allow the legal taking of this dwindling resource is reprehensible!!!!! The moratorium could be worded so as to not affect RSA's and allow them to continue to do their business. Wild quail populations are nearly extinct in Maryland and NEEDS to be addressed!!

Thank you for all that you do in an attempt to manage Maryland's many resources, I sincerely appreciate it and realize there are many viewpoints you must take into account. Sincerely, Dr. C. J.

3/5/2014
I am 100% in support of the proposed trapping regulation that would extend the fox trapping season to end concurrently with fox hunting season. The oppurtunity to hunt/trap foxes in Maryland should be equal for all user groups. - J. G.

3/5/2014
I support ending fox trapping season concurrently with fox hunting season. - P. K.

3/5/2014
Board member for beachwood hunting club 3300 acres 322 members doing a 3 point restriction. - J. M.

3/5/2014
As a board member of Beech wood Rod and Gun Club, we have 322 members and lease 3300 acres. For several years we have had point restrictions and are starting to see good results. So we are for the point restrictions to better the quality of deer in the mountains of western Maryland. - C. M.

3/5/2014
Please do not institute the APR, we do not need it, let hunters shoot what they want.

3/5/2014
A board member for beechwood rod gun club 322 members 3300 acres of land we have a 3 points on a side and would like to see four point on side for all bucks bow gun or muzzleloader. - J. M.

3/5/2014
Turkey hunting need to extend fall season in october we do not need to hunt turkey in january. - J. M.

3/5/2014
Totally against proposed winter turkey season. As a retired game warden with the state I can tell you if you think all deer baiting is done in January you need to get out in the woods. People bait all winter and a lot bait all year. All this season will amount to is people sitting up a deer stand and shooting a turkey that happens by. The seasons are fine and should be left alone. - J. M.

3/5/2014
I have been hunting the lower shore for more than 30 years on public land and I have seen less and less deer every year for the past 5. I question leaving the doe harvest at 10 for muzzle loader and fire arms and no limit for archery.

I really question the increase in the Sika limit. A lot of us are starting to think that DNR is trying to remove the population and increasing the limit is going to solidify that thinking. If you are going to increase the limit it should de done in a way similar to what the limit was several years ago. Make it one stag and two does. Do not give people the option of shooting three does. - J. S.

3/5/2014
I fully Support State wide APR'S and would be in favor of an even stricter proposal. - C. J.

3/5/2014
I support the APR for Whitetail Deer, and would like to see the "3 on 1 side" rule take effect some day. This is a good start. MD produces very large deer once they live to 4+ years old. Most 3 year olds are great bucks also. If we stop killing yearlings, and even 2.5 year olds we will have a GREAT rut and many more trophies taken. I agree youths should be left out, but no grown man should be shooting spikes, 3 or 4 pointers with small doe sized bodies. We have a lot of does in region B, and if a hunter wants meat, shoot a doe.

I also support the 3 deer bag limit on Sika's. There are a TON is So. Dorchester and it would be nice to eat more sika as it is the best wild game meat I have ever had!

Thanks. - B. B.

3/5/2014
We totally support the two week extension on fox season , every year we trap and come spring my ducks and their babies are killed by foxes there is way to many in our area that they feel that they have to come up to our house to feed on pets just maybe two extra weeks would help . Thank you. S. and R. R.

3/5/2014
The APR is a very bad idea for Maryland, our whitetail population needs to be reduced. The QDMA organization can keep their antler restrictions to themselves. Please do not impose their ideals on meat hunters. - Rob

3/5/2014
APR will hurt MD hunters more than it will help. If I want to shoot a non QDMA buck then that is my choice. More and more land is being lost to outfitters and antler chasing shooters.

3/5/2014
There is no biological reason for the change it is mainly social.
The harvesting of year and a half old bucks is primarily a problem in Region A.
This change is restrictive and is just the opposite of all other changes proposed.
Hunter numbers are declining and this proposal will continue this decline.
Hunters spend significant money on hunting and to not allow them to shoot deer is unacceptable.
Increase in doe harvest will not occur due to this change.
This change is made to accommodate trophy hunters.
A change like this should be done on a test basis first instead of rolling it out to the entire State.
The language in the proposal is confusing as to the number of points that a buck must have after the first two APR bucks are shot.
Hunters with limited hunting days will be impacted. - R. D.

3/5/2014
Do not agree with the raising of the Sika deer limits. I am in favor of the whitetail antler restictions. - J. M.

3/4/2014
I fully support the proposed winter turkey season. It will provide turkey hunters additional recreational opportunities.

I fully support the proposed changes to the dove season.

I fully support the antler point restrictions - recognizing that it's a start in the right direction towards protecting young bucks. - A. P.

3/4/2014
I do not see the purpose of the additional week of winter turkey season. While I understand the intent of avoiding deer baiting, I would still rather see the 1 week season in the fall somehow expanded to 2 weeks in October or November as opposed to a January season. I have talked to about 10 other hunters, all avid turkey hunters in Garrett County, and none of them are interested in hunting in January. Our conditions here rarely are favorable for that. To us, turkey hunting occurs either prior to Thanksgiving or in the Spring. - P. R.

3/4/2014
I am writing in support of the Sika Deer bag limit increase to three per weapon with no more than one antlered. These animals are great to hunt and add a unique opportunity for hunters in Maryland and they are great to EAT!. But their population needs to be maintained. I have seen first hand the devastation that they can cause to crops. In conclusion, because of the reproductive potential, nocturnal tendencies, survival of young and aggressive nature it would be difficult to over harvest these animals. Please lets help control a great resource that we have and not let it get out of hand. Thanks, KC

3/4/2014
It sounds like a lot of the comments are from hunters in region B. I'm happy you have a good population of deer in that region. My hunting is done in far western region A. The deer population is not what it use to be there. It is not uncommon to see more bears than deer in a day out deer hunting. Many day's you see no deer at all. I am pleased with the APR, it is a reasonable start but I wish it would apply to all bucks. The improvements to the bear season are good and I like the winter turkey season. One thing I would have liked to have been addressed is dropping the coyote from the furbearer permit and have an open season applied. One thing for consideration would be reopening check stations so you can police the APR regulation verses a dishonest phone call. -T. H.

3/4/2014
More sunday bowhunting in montgomery county. A handgun season.

3/4/2014
I have grown up in Garrett County and learned to hunt and fish here. I fully support the beginning steps of the antler restriction as proposed. I would like to see this increase in the future with regard to two bucks per calendar year with a possible 4 on one side restriction. I have harvested nothing more than an 8 point in Garrett County over my 32 years - my goal is now to see that my children have the opportunity to harvest a mature buck in the future. They are 2.5 years old and 8 months old - so I feel with the continued local QDMA efforts partnered with the Dept. of Natural Resources that this will be a possibility. I look forward to seeing the results. Thank You.

3/4/2014
I'm from Oakland md. I am all for a point restriction for white tail in Maryland. I have been hunting in pa for 16 years now I've have seen firsthand how a point restriction has help in the area that I hunt in. and I hope to see one where I live. I don't care if we harvest less bucks or a
point restriction. I have been doing a point restriction on 200 acres for 5 years and the neighbors that border my property are trying it too and we have seen results. I hope to see something here in Maryland we have the quality to grow nice bucks just need to let them get older. - B. S.

3/4/2014
I would like to comment on the points restriction in Garrett County. I am very happy to finally see something being done on this. I feel that to achieve a better quality of animal in horn growth and also body weight we need to let these animals get a little age on them. I would like to see a little stricter policy where the limit should only be one buck or more points to harvest, and we really need to cut down on doe harvest there aren't as many deer as what you think are out there. I have been practicing QDMA for several years now and the proposal on the table I agree with it and at least I believe we are moving in the right direction. Thank You, - M. T.

3/4/2014
I am totally in favor of having the January wild turkey season. - J. C.

3/4/2014
I am whole heartidly for the antler restriction. I am sure our deer heard citizens and hunters will both benifit. I only wish the proposal was stronger. I believe that 4 on one side with a 1 buck limit in region A is what region A needs to have good hunting and GOOD hunting will generate financial returns for your department and your states property owners.

Jan turkey season. Please do not pass. For example my neighbor puts out corn and I have 10 long beards in my yard every day in January. I don't think the hunters in my neighborhood are ethical enough to come out of that situation on the right side. - B. B.

3/4/2014
Please leave the turkey season as it is. Adding a fall season to the eastern shore would be a huge mistake. Over the past few years the spring season on the shore has taken off. Adding pressure now in the fall would destroy all that everyone has worked for. - J. M.

3/3/2014 stephen miller shm_miller The antler restriction is great, but it should be a total bag limit of 2 bucks since you are dropping the doe bag limit. This would help get the buck doe ratio in better shape.

3/3/2014
I like the antler restriction but it needs to be for al the seasons.Also u need to cut out the buck killing in early muzzloader and just leave it for does. Were headed in the right direction but were not there yet. Iv hunted all across the country and maryland has a long way to go. Cut it down to two bucks whatvevr u want to killm with and leave it go at that but have the point restriction. Theres no reason we cant produce what the midwest has with the crops and teritory we have. - R. A.

3/3/2014

I disagree very much about raising the limit of Sika deer to three. I don't believe there is enough research to justify this and the excuses used to raise the limit is bogus.

The few deer that have expanded their range can and will be harvested with the current bag limits and the increase will not aid the population management.

About the comments made, how do we know that the crop damage increases are from Sika and not Whitetail or raccoons? Most Sikas live in marshes swamps and timber. I'm not saying that the damage doesn't happen but with the increase of hunter participation and interest in sika they have been brought under control. There has been a increase sika doe harvest each year which tells you that the current bag limit is working.
A few deer spotted or killed outside of Dorchester and now its an invasion of an invasive species. They have been around since the early 1900's so were not going to see a significant expansion in our lifetime.

These animals are unique and are valuable to our state. They create revenue in many ways that is probably a 1000 times greater then the crops per say that are damaged from them.

Thanks, - W. R.

Rationale/Goal:

Sika deer continue to increase in number and expand their range. Liberalizing the harvest will aid with population management.

Comments: Crop damage complaints and overpopulation issues concerning sika deer are increasing. Sika deer have expanded into Delaware and have been observed as far north as Kent County, MD. Wicomico County now has an established and significant population as evidenced by harvest records. Population surveys in Dorchester County have observed densities greater than 80 sika deer per square mile and juvenile survival rates greater than 80%, suggesting hunting pressure is moderate.

3/3/2014
I would like to be able to purchase a bear hunting license in my own state/ county, instead of relying on a lottery to get a tag. It has always been my dream to harvest a bear with my bow. Each year, for several years myself, my husband, and my son have applied for bear tags without success. Others that we know from out of county, obtain a tag on the first attempt. We often see more bear than deer while hunting. We have decided to buy bear permits in neighboring WV until MD can figure out a better system.

3/3/2014
The proposal to limit the number of bucks with 3 pts or less to the first two bucks accomplishes nothing. Most hunter do not kill more then two bucks a year. It should be at least all bucks must have at least 3 pts on one side. I prefer four points. - R. D.

3/3/2014

I've reviewed all the proposed changes for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 hunting seasons.

I support the 7 day winter turkey season.

I support all black bear proposals.

I support all furbearer proposals.

I support all proposals for whitetail deer. I would also support more aggressive APR's or measures to decrease yearling buck harvest if introduced.

I DO NOT support the increase in sika deer bag limits at this time.

I have heard much criticism against DNR for their announcement of regulation proposals, that too few hunters are made aware of the proposals. I would suggest that hunters be made aware that regulations are due for input when hunters purchase their license the season prior to changes being considered (2015-2016). I realize actual proposals and dates will not be available at this time - but it will at least remind hunters that input will be asked of them soon. Perhaps they could also be opted in to a reminder e-mail at that time.

To get a better gauge on how many hunters support APR's or methods to decrease yearling buck harvest - I suggest a mandatory question of this nature when hunters purchase their licenses over the next two years. The question should be carefully worded so that responders can answer yes, no, or choose not to respond. This would give a much better estimate on the number of hunters who oppose or support future efforts to decrease yearling buck harvest. - J. T.

3/3/2014
I am totally against the proposed AR's. Since there is "not a significant management concern for the Department" then do not change it. I will shoot a "trophy" buck if I see one but am just a happy shooting a doe or small buck. Hunting has become all about the trophy bucks, hunters used to be happy with whatever you shot. - J. W.

3/3/2014

  1. Let hunters decide what bucks they want to shoot unless there is a biological reason to mandate a particular antler point configuration. QDM is pretty popular and most hunters practice QDM. I practice QDM.
  2. Leave the sika bag limit as it was. If anything allow a bonus branch antlered stag tag to be purchased for use during bow season ie Achieve some extra kill and make the Gov.yourself some $$$ to blow on some baloney program. He'll love ya.
  3. No, No, No to the winter turkey season. Still too much deer feed out the last week. You are just inviting violations. Use some common sense.
  4. Lengthen the fox hunting season...hek on pelt primeness.

- W. R.

3/3/2014
3 point antler restriction? Say it isn't so. That won't do much for management purposes. It should be at least 4 or do what DE does and have a "quality buck tag" which is a minimum width of 15in spread at the widest point. The biggest thing is better education of "mature" bucks in the field and why management is important and more than just harvesting bigger bucks. We implemented a management program on a property several years ago that barely had bucks and if you saw one it was a small basket rack. Now we have a 3:1 ratio and see multiple mature 3.5 and older bucks that we can harvest. - T. K.

3/3/2014
Strongly for AR's.
Would like AR's for ALL Harvested bucks!!! - E.

3/3/2014
Support Statewide Whitetail APR's, awesome way to educate deer hunters of the value of protecting yearling bucks while not mandating APR for bucks harvested.
AR for all seasons would have a better measurable results this is a step in the right direction. - E. W. G.

3/2/2014
I am against the Antler Point Restriction proposal. As written, it does nothing to protect young bucks, and is pointless additional regulation. It could also very easily contribute to increased vehicle / deer collisions in region B. If the State feels it needs to move forward with a point restriction on bucks it would be wiser to move forward with a reduced bag limit, 2 bucks per season, statewide, all weapons inclusive, one hunters choice, and a bonus ""trophy"" buck subject to the APR restriction.

I also do not feel moving the fall turkey season into the early part of November is a good idea. If user conflicts and hunter safety are principal concerns for the proposed change, the proposed period would be the wrong idea to promote this agenda. A change of this nature would put many camouflaged turkey hunters into the field during the prime whitetail rut period, with fully camouflaged bowhunters, creating safety and user conflicts with bowhunters. The turkey season should be moved closer to Thanksgiving, if at all. In addition, if generating increased interest in a fall turkey season is needed, instead of a ""winter"" turkey season, the fall season should simply be expanded statewide. Poachers will bait and shoot turkey over it regardless of when the season is.

I do, however, like the idea of expanding the late dove season splits. I also feel wanton waste laws are long overdue, and should be applied to all game.

Thank you for your time. - M. K.

3/2/2014
One buck one doe with all three seasons is nice. Dont be like PA and loss 20% of sales because one Buck limit and 3 or 4 point one side. 10% less for 2014. People work have little time off, some of us take what we see.
PA had 1,000,000 hunters before BUCK LIMITS now about 700,000 thats 30% less sales look it up! That less revnue! At $30 that is $9,000,000 from 2010 to 2013 look it up! DO NOT MESS YOUR STATE UP TO! - J. F.

3/2/2014
I support anything that works towards quality deer in reagion A whether it be limiting buck kill or a point restriction. Maybe seasons need shortend also.Also i would like to see coyote hunting allowed on sundays as i hunt with dogs and season is short for us as we wait till deer hunters are done to avoid conflict.Agin i feel deer seasons are to long.Also i would not support extending fisher or fox trapping season as many people use snares and conibers which is deadly on dogs. Thanks, - R. B.

3/2/2014
I am 100% against APR on buck harvest.
Deer population is growing.
Buck harvest is up.
More mature big bucks taken now than any other time in Maryland
Hunter education and selective harvest is on the rise on its own.

There is no biological reason for any new regs or tag reduction.
If the few want to shoot more mature WTs the need to come to understand that only knowledge and time spent in the woods paying your dues will get the job done. Looking for Obamabucks is not how to harvest deer.
In short there is no free ride or handouts to success. - M. W.

3/2/2014
Greetings,

Thank you for your continued efforts in managing our natural resources and wildlife, and opening up regulations for public comment.

Regarding the proposal of antler point restrictions. I support the effort to protect younger age class bucks, and see this as a very small step. So small, in fact, that I questions its true validity.

I would be much more supportive and in favor of a reduced buck bag limit - down to 2 per hunter. I would ultimately like to see 1 archery buck tag, and 1 either gun or muzzleloader tag. As a compromise, I'd settle for 2 bucks, hunter's choice - but i think the limiting of 1 for archery, and 1 with a firearm would be much more effective. Thank you. J. H.

3/2/2014
I support the AR's and would also like to see the buck bag limit reduced to 2 per year. - J. S.

3/2/2014
I want the point restrictions and would enforce them on the second and third buck taken. I like the penalties of losing hunting rights for breaking the laws. I am unsure on the Turkey season but it would be really cool to hunt them other than in the spring in region B. - D. P.

3/2/2014
It would be nice to have turkey hunting state-wide during the 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, for obvious reasons. - M. R.

3/1/2014
I would like to see the Winter Turkey hunting season, however, I think the Turkey harvested should count toward your spring two bird limit. Yes there are turkeys in every county in Maryland, but not each has a good number of birds. For the past several years through the NWTF State chapter we have heard that the number of turkeys has decreased in areas. How will DNR handle the poaching and the taking of two many turkeys. As you can see the deer harvesting is whatever with the new way of checking. You know what I mean. I live in the Hughesville area and I do not see the turkeys I saw 10 years ago. Maybe just have the hunt on two consecutive Saturdays! - M. B.

3/1/2014
2 Bucks per year 1 per weapon. NO MORE!! Extend Fox Trapping. APR's YES, YES! - T. G.

3/1/2014
I applaud this first step in APR. While my vote would be 8 pt total on all deer for any season, I would whole heartedly support what is proposed. Lets catch up with other states!

I also like the proposed changes to the bear hunt. - D. B.

3/1/2014
I support the changes proposed for the point restrictions. If we could grow older, bigger deer here in the county my husband wouldn't have to go to Canada and the Midwest so much! - M. B.

3/1/2014
I like that you are proposing a point restriction, however a lot of yearling bucks will have the 3 points. Would have been better to go to 4 pt on a side... I think exempting youth hunters is good. - C. B.

3/1/2014
Hello, My comments are as follows:

  • I support this: Hunting Privilege Suspension
  • I support this: Create a seven day, either sex, winter wild turkey season statewide.
  • I support this: Eliminate the current quota hunt approach and open the bear season for a pre
  • determined number of days.
  • I support this: Change the trap checking requirement for traps set in water or tidal marsh to once per two calendar days.
  • I support this: End fox trapping season concurrently with fox hunting season.
  • I support this. Extend skunk season to close on the same date as opossum and raccoon season.
  • I support this: Open beaver and otter trapping seasons approximately two weeks earlier in Allegany and Garrett counties, around December 1.
  • I support this: Establish a regulation to prohibit the wanton waste of white-tailed and sika deer.
  • I support this: To adjust the current zone that limits deer hunting to shotguns only in Frederick County.
  • I DO NOT support this: Implement an antler point restriction (APR) specifying that no more than two antlered deer harvested per license year (statewide) may have less than three points one inch or longer on each antler present.
  • I support this: Increase the bag limit to three sika deer, no more than one antlered, for each weapon.
  • I support this: Increase the sika deer antlerless bag limit to allow two antlerless deer (or three, pending the considered bag limit change) to be harvested during any portion of the early or late muzzleloader season.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations. - S. N.

3/1/2014
I agree with the DNR in implementing an APR, however, I do not believe the proposed system is the ticket. The proposed system still leaves an open door for immature antlered deer to be harvested. I personally would love to see an APR in place, but I feel that this system is baby-steps compared to the approach other states have taken. Many of the properties I hunt in Western, MD are restricted to 8-points, but the goal is to shoot a mature buck. It has been several years since I have taken a buck in Maryland, but an obvious increase in the age class has been seen from our management practices. That being said, I think a 4 on one side or "3 high" rule would be a better start.

3/1/2014
If antler-point restrictions are enacted, I think senior hunters should be exempt.
I prefer the fall turkey season to stay in its existing slot so that I can begin to devote my time to pre-rut bowhunting during the first part of November. There is not much of an overlap problem in Region A.In addition, the existing week allows more opportunity to hunt when the woods have colored leaves, an aesthetic plus.
If the doe limit goes to two, I'd like to be able to kill them in any season; two in bow season or two in muzzleloader season for example. - M. S.

3/1/2014
Do not support the turkey reg changes. Marylands turkey populations do not support a winter hunt the birds are in large flocks and very patternable. Unless the DNR wants to drastically reduce the numbers, this is a bad idea. Not to mention hens are trying to prepare for the nesting season. - D. S.

3/1/2014
We need an APR in this state, to ensure that mature whitetails are harvested. The proposed APR would be a great step in the right direction. I personally would like to see the bag limit restricted as well.

2/28/2014
I completely support the increase of the Sika Hinds bag limit to 3. I work on a property where we have seen the Sika population grow to the point of pushing out the Whitetail and with help of a DNR permit we are trying to reverse that. The problem is that they have a high reproductive potential and are so nocturnal it is very difficult to do. I think that hunters need to make a choice to either allow the increase or face the replacement of the Whitetail with Sika over a large part of the range. We know from research that these animals live 18 +/- years and have one young per year and Juvenal survival is 80+%. Because of their nocturnal nature we didn't realize how much of a problem we had until we put out cameras. - A. J.

2/28/2014
In general I support the proposals listed here but I have to take issue with the list of license suspensions. Part of this proposal is to create a review board within DNR to review violations and impose these suspensions, an MVA style, outside of court, conviction process. To be honest, intentional violators are not using a license to commit the crime and to have one revoked is not a deterrent, but only serves to harass a usually law abiding hunter that makes a mistake or a not well thought out indiscretion. Make laws that punish the criminals not make a hunter wonder if it is worth going out to hunt because he hasn't read the code book. - A. J.

2/28/2014
Is there a proposed map of the new shotgun zone around Frederick County? - E. C.

2/28/2014
Sunday Hunting for Deer needs to be state wide. Certain counties get more days then other counties. Cecil gets very few what is the Logic? We all pay the same for our hunting lic so lets make it fair. - C. V.

2/28/2014
I support the increase in the bag limits for sika deer. - L. H.

2/28/2014
I completely support the increase of the Sika Hinds bag limit to 3. I work on a property where we have seen the Sika population grow to the point of pushing out the Whitetail and with help of a DNR permit we are trying to reverse that. The problem is that they have a high reproductive potential and are so nocturnal it is very difficult to do. I think that hunters need to make a choice to either allow the increase or face the replacement of the Whitetail with Sika over a large part of the range. We know from research that these animals live 18 +/- years and have one young per year and Juvenal survival is 80+%. Because of their nocturnal nature we didn't realize how much of a problem we had until we put out cameras. – A. J.

2/27/2014
I am against the proposed AR's. Especially in region A. Why not allow 2 bucks per year but add a doe to allow for 3 does per year in region A? I keep hearing how AR's are for herd health but yet I don't see it. I see this as a backdoor way to add AR's for all bucks in the state to appease groups like the QDMA. Hunter numbers are down, why continue to whittle away at hunters to appease a loud few? – J. C.

2/27/2014
Hello all, I wanted to comment on the Hunting Privilege Suspension section. Most of these violations will be given outside of a legal hunting season. Suspending an criminal's hunters privileges for a year, two years or five years will not stop them from hunting, trapping, etc. They are not hunters, they are criminals. The only way to stop this type of activity is to confiscate their guns, traps, truck, ATV, etc and put them behind bars. The sad part is that these DNR officers go out every day and put themselves in harms way to catch these criminals, put cases together, provide evidence for months and when it goes to court, these criminals are let off. I do not like the suspensions, I say get them where it will affect them most. Their wallets and time.

I agree with the Bear season changes. Determine how many days the season will be and leave it open. I think you will see much better numbers spread out over the season and not high numbers the 1st 2 days because everyone is trying to get their bear before the season ends early. Deer regulations. I think that deer taken on a crop damage permit should have to be taken to a "Hunters feeding Hungry" butcher to be donated and not just left in the field to rot. Deer check-in. I think that we should have to physically check deer in to check in stations. It is very convenient to just call them in but it is not working. I hear SO MANY people harvesting a buck, then calling two does in so they can hunt another buck. It is not giving DNR accurate numbers of the deer taken in different regions. – D. D.

2/27/2014
I like the extended fox and skunk trapping seasons. Only requiring trappers to check water traps once every two days makes since as long as they are kill traps or foot holds in drown sets. I think the antler point restriction will deter hunters from shooting an excess of young bucks while still allowing the harvest of some. I really appreciate the state wide winter turkey season. It will provide another hunting opportunity with minimal impact on the turkey population as a whole. I would like to see a statewide approach to Sunday hunting. Either allow it or not, no more of this picking and choosing counties and dates. Overall I like most of the proposed changes, but I would like to see more shooting ranges on state lands.

2/27/2014
The proposed "APR" for whitetails is a terrible idea. The DNR needs to stop caving to the minority of hunters who are hunting for antlers. Hunting is not about showing off how big of a buck you can shoot, to prove you are a great hunter. There is no research that points to the need for this in MD. There is no research that this will benefit the deer, or the environment. There is research that this can and has in many states been implemented, and caused negative effects. Just look to PA where deer numbers are way down and buck harvests are way down. MDNR cut buck harvest from 9 to 4. Now we may be told which buck we can/can't shoot based on the number of points? Who cares if its 1 of 3, it is a dumb idea. STOP ruining deer hunting in MD with over regulation. There are too many deer, especially in region B. If MDNR wants to prevent hunters from shooting young bucks just enforce a moratorium on harvesting ALL antlered deer until 2019. By 2019 there would be an abundance of 3,4,5 and 6+ year old bucks in MD. Sounds ridiculous right? It is about as ridiculous as APR except unlike APR, it would actually see results, where this proposed APR will see no positive results. The idea is stupid, stupid, stupid. Tell the QDM crowd to move to Iowa or Ohio where they regularly produce huge whitetails.

2/27/2014
Trapping with leg-holds of foxes and coyotes (or any other animal) is inhumane and should not be allowed to continue in Maryland. The majority of the animals suffer and die before being found. Other animals can get into the trap, and with the large amount of communities now surrounding our forests and open land, it makes it unsafe nor correct to continue this practice. An animal screaming all night near a community is not the proper way to remove or kill any animal. Thank you. – C. D.

2/27/2014
The proposed (1) buck APR is a great step towards a healthier better quality deer herd in Maryland. Let’s take a huge step in the right direction for our sport. –B. M.

2/27/2014
The total buck harvest statewide should be 1 archery and 1 gun is the more practical route in achieving the goal of voluntary educated, selective harvest. – T. G.

2/27/2014
January Turkey--Strongly Oppose-I think it would be fun but I do not think it would be good management due to the fact that the males are flocked up in feeding areas and the opportunity to take multiple birds while wiping out an entire areas gobblers will be the results of this regulation. The current quality level is marginal at best and this proposal will in no way improve it. Antler Restriction proposal--I strongly agree in the aspect that this will serve as an educational role to allow hunters to voluntarily improve their hunting. I wish the regulation would have been stronger and more direct so the hunters could see faster results. I would love to invest the thousands of dollars I spend in other states to improving my own property in MD, but until I will see a return on investment I will keep sending my money to KS, OH, PA, and NE where I buy non resident license every year. – C. B.

2/27/2014
I'm glad to see the state doing something about all the young bucks getting killed. Even though it's not much, it's a start I guess. Still don't understand why it says "the high yearling harvest is not a big management concern" or however it's worded... If it's not, then it should be. 80% is crazy. I'm also surprised by the new turkey season, that should be fun! – J. H.

2/27/2014
Antler Restrictions: It is my understanding that there is a push from "trophy" hunters to enact Antler Restrictions in Region B. Well, don't listen to them. The MD deer herd is healthy as it is. LEAVE HUNTING SEASON THE WAY IT IS!! Sincerely, - B. C.

2/26/2014
I have reviewed the proposed regulation changes. The only one I have a comment on is the proposed antler point restriction (APR). I am wholeheartedly against this proposal. Your own language in the proposal states that there is no biological need for APR. It's simply an appeasement to trophy hunters who want to impose their beliefs on other hunters. What right do I have to tell another hunter what he should or shouldn't shoot? Answer=none. This is a bad, bad idea. Don't tell the guy (or girl) who just likes to harvest deer, any deer, or who counts on killing deer for meat in the freezer that they can't shoot more than two small books just to keep some trophy hunter happy. That is just wrong. – W. D.

2/26/2014
I'm all for the antler restriction it's about time we do something to protect our yearling bucks personally I would like to see 3 buck tags 1 archery and 1 firearm and 1 bonus tag Thanks – T. L.

2/26/2014
I think that you should sell a bear license for $25.00 have season for 2or3 days and forget the lottery system.To many bears in Garrett Co. seen 7 bears on first day of deer season more bears then deer. The limit needs increased to at least 200 bears. – C. L.

2/26/2014
My comment is; I read some of the comments submitted. The one that really bothered me was the guy who was in a state owned duck blind. he was complaining about Rabbit hunters interferring with his duck hunt. Really!! Small game hunters are becoming a smaller and smaller group because of state and private rented properties being promoted for the deer and goose/duck hunting money. There are virtually NO pheasants or quail here in cecil,kent,queen annes countys. Just a few rabbits and then we have the predators to contend with. Fox, Cyote, house cats, hawks, owls, eagles and the road kills. On private propertys it is impossible to rabbit hunt there until after all of goose, duck and the GOLDEN bow season is over. Giving us about 21-24 days and that's with good weather. If anybody gets an extension,or special days it should be the rabbit hunter! I am a 2 tour VIET NAM VETERAN and through rabbit hunting it has been a means to keep my spirits up-lifted!! It serves me with good memories with my father and friends. Thank you – D. S.

2/26/2014
Thank you for allowing me to comment on proposed changes for the 2014-2016 seasons. Deer Proposal 1. Implement an antler point restriction (APR) specifying that no more than two antlered deer harvested per license year (statewide) may have less than three points one inch or longer on each antler present. I am concerned with the wording of "less than three points one inch or longer on each antler present". Do you realize that all 4 or 5 pt. bucks would not be legal unless all those points were on one antler; however a buck with one antler with at least three points one inch or longer would be legal. I believe that changing the wording to having less than three points on one antler would protect the same age class of bucks and create less confusion in the field. It is very very difficult to count points on both antlers, in a short period of time and at any distance. Sika Proposal: Increasing the bag limit to 3 sika per season. Please do not. I have been hunting sika on public land for 15 years and have not seen any noticable increase in their population; in fact I have seen less over the last two years. Your conclusion that their populations are increasing because their harvest totals have increased and their range is expanding may be unjustified. I believe that increased hunting pressure has increased the harvest and is increasing their range. I have observed more and more sika hunters every year. You should survey sika hunters as you do archery hunters to determine the total number of hunters, # of hours hunted, sightings, etc. before drawing this conclusion and making this change.

2/26/2014
1) Love the antler restriction but wish it applied to all antlered deer not just the third one taken and the bonus. Good that you excepted junior hunters from the requirement. 2) Not allowing Sunday hunting during the entire season is still antiquated and arbitrary. I work all week and have to drive 2 hrs to get to my spot so I get to hunt one day per week on Saturday. Sunday hunting prohibition unfairly targets working people and has no place in 21st century hunting regulations. 3) Please give us a Fall turkey in Dorchester. – P. B.

2/26/2014
I bowhunt exclusively (Patapsco areas due to limited private access) and am not in favor of an type of antler restrictions. The areas along Marriotsville Rd are already crowded and we don't need more people chasing big bucks in there when all most guys want to do is fill the freezer with a doe or spike. – M. L.

2/26/2014
I mainly hunt Patapsco during bow season and see tons of bucks 6pt and bigger but if I want to shoot a big fat 4pt I should not be restricted. – A. G.

2/26/2014
APR is not needed in Maryland, let hunters harvest what they want. – J. B.

2/26/2014
Do not implement APR, we do not need it. – M.

2/26/2014
I am against the implementation of APR except during the deer firearms/muzzleloader seasons, both early and late in Region B. – G. F.

2/26/2014
The idea of APR is interesting but I would only want to see it in selected areas such as State controlled lands like Patapsco. - John

2/26/2014
Please do not institute APR, Maryland has a deer problem (hence our liberal bag limits) and we need to continue to lower the deer population. If the QDM hunters want to utilize APR then they can continue to do so voluntarily. - Jarod

2/26/2014
I am against any type of antler restriction, hunting access is at an all time low in Maryland and this will make it worse. – S. L.

2/26/2014
I am against the APR, let people shoot what they want. Maryland residents already have a difficult time obtaining access to private land and having an APR will only contribute to that when high dollar outfitters lease the land. - J. W.

2/25/2014
I fully support all the proposed regulations.I would also like to see a bobcat season in Maryland. We have been seeing numerous cats in the past several years. - H. W.