Photo by Reinhardt Sahmel

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that hunters harvested 19,571 deer during the early portion of the archery and muzzleloader seasons. The harvest was a 7% decrease from last year’s official harvest of 21,098 deer for the same period.

The early season harvest decline was attributed to warmer weather during muzzleloader season, and a reported increase in the occurrence of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in some counties. EHD occurs annually in Maryland and does not have long-lasting effects for the deer population, nor is it harmful to humans.

The two-month harvest included 13,420 deer taken during the archery season and 6,052 harvested during the October muzzleloader season. An additional 99 deer were reported during managed hunts. The archery harvest increased 13% while the muzzleloader harvest decreased 33% compared to the previous year. Hunters harvested 587 antlered and 650 antlerless sika deer as part of the total.

Hunters harvested 774 deer on Sundays that were open to archery hunting during the period, accounting for 6% of the total archery harvest.