Deer hunting total drops below 100,000 for first time in three years

Weather, abundance of acorns lead to smaller number of kills

February 11, 2011|By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun

High winds and bitter temperatures kept deer hunters at home and dropped the total number of kills for the 2010-11 season below the 100,000 mark for the first time in three years.

During the archery, muzzleloader and modern firearms seasons, hunters killed 98,663 deer, down 2 percent from last year's record season.

Brian Eyler, deer project leader for the Department of Natural Resources, called the season "challenging." In addition to the weather, an abundant acorn crop meant deer did not have to leave safety to search for food.

The number of sika deer killed was 2,780, a 17 percent increase over last year's total.

A regulatory change last year that moved the western portion of Washington County from Region B to Region A makes direct comparisons with previous seasons impossible. However, the statewide antlered harvest declined 1 percent to 33,341 deer, while the antlerless harvest decreased 2 percent to 65,322 deer.

Despite a 3 percent drop, Frederick County led all states with 7942 deer. Baltimore County was second, with 6,919 deer, up 2.5 percent. The Washington County total was down nearly 30 percent, but it still managed to hold onto third, with 6,035 deer.

candy.thomson@baltsun.com

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