For the first time in more than a decade, the county experienced a drop in the deer kill during the firearms season.
Hunters in Carroll unofficially bagged 1,716 deer during the Nov.
24-Dec. 1 modern firearms season, down from the 1,870 killed in 1989, said Marilyn Mause of the Forest, Park and Wildlife Service's Gwynnbrook office in Baltimore County.
"The weather really played a part," said Mause, who noted the windy opening-day conditions, midweek rains and generally warm temperatures throughout the hunt.
Deer tend to move about less in warm weather, when foraging for food is easy, and in the rain. Last year, temperatures were much cooler for the season and there was snow on the ground opening day, causing deer to move around more and making them easier to track.
Statewide, Mause said, the unofficial total was 31,849, below the 34,518 killed in last year's firearms season and way down from the 38,000 to 40,000 estimate of this year's harvest by FPWS upland game specialist Josh Sandt.
Illegal hunters didn't appear to be much of a problem in Carroll this year either, said Cpl. Ralph Parker of the Department of Natural Resources Police.
Eleven citations were issued to hunters in Carroll during the firearms season, Parker said, including seven for hunting on private land without written permission. Two more were cited for not properly wearing blaze orange, one was for failure to display hunting tags and one was for having a loaded weapon in a vehicle.
Official deer count figures, along with totals from the bow and muzzleloader seasons, will be available after the bow season ends in early January.