Deer in Spring Landscape

Schaeffer Farm
Managed Hunting Area (MHA)

White-tail deer in meadow, courtesy of USDALocated just south west of Germantown, Maryland the property is owned by the Department of Natural Resources as part of Seneca Creek State Park and leased to a private landowner for agricultural purposes. The 850 acre tract is managed for deer as a result of extensive crop damage.

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What To See

Schaeffer Farm provides habitat for a myriad of wildlife species but is managed strictly for white-tailed deer.

What To Do

This area is open for deer hunting, more specifically, during the two week firearm season and two day January season.
Outside the hunting season, this area provides almost 18 miles of bicycle trails. Check out a map of the area.

Area Regulations

  • Access for hunting Schaeffer Farm is restricted to the two week firearm season and two day January season.
  • The $35.00 Managed Hunt Permit must be purchased and a Central Region Public Hunting Permit (free) must be acquired prior to hunting Schaeffer Farm.
  • To apply for the free Central Region Public Hunting Permit click here.
  • Parking is permitted at designated parking lots only. See map for temporary and four-wheel drive lots.
  • ATV’s and all other unlicensed vehicles are prohibited.
  • Scouting is available until the opening of firearm season. For early scouting, parking is available only on lot 2 (paved lot on Schaeffer Rd).
  • Non-Hunting Users

  • Outside the hunting season, this area provides almost 18 miles of bicycle trails.
  • Site Management Practices

  • The Department of Natural Resources is working in conjunction with Seneca Creek State Park to actively and intensively manage the deer population at Schaeffer Farm to biologically sound sustainable levels.
  • Directions

    Schaeffer Farm is south west of Germantown, Maryland. A permanent parking lot is located off of Schaeffer Farm Rd. The property is bordered by Schaeffer Farm Rd to the north, Black Rock Rd to the east, and Darnestown Rd (Rt. 28) to the south. For additional information or seasonal permits, contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife and Heritage Service Office at 410-356-9272.


    This area is a part of Marylandís Department of Natural Resources public land system and is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The primary mission of the WMA system is to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats as well as to provide public recreational use of the Stateís wildlife resources.

    Eighty-five percent of the funding for Maryland's state wildlife programs comes from hunting license fees and a federal excise tax on sport hunting devices and ammunition. The federal aid funds are derived from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (or Pittman-Robertson) Fund, which sportsmen and women have been contributing to since 1937. Each state receives a share of the funds, which is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; these funds are used for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs, including the management of the WMA system.

    Other sources of funds for land acquisition include Program Open Space Funding for Maryland's State and local parks and conservation areas, provided through The Department of Natural Resources' Program Open Space. Established in 1969, Program Open Space symbolizes Maryland's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.