Ask Outdoors Girl

May 01, 2011

Avi J. Friedman of Baltimore asks: What are the drawbacks to letting private property owners inside the city limits hunt deer on their own land with bows? I'd settle for the usual archery season, Sept. 15 - Jan 31. Are we trying to maintain a deer herd within city limits? Is it necessary for the city to be a sanctuary for deer to supply deer to the surrounding suburban areas? Generally, the state is begging people right now to take deer in the suburban areas. I can see no reason at all why I should not be allowed to hunt deer in my backyard with my bow. I would be performing a public service. Some states are moving towards allowing bow hunting, and even gun hunting, in more populous areas if the hunter is elevated. There's no problem using a stand in my back yard or sitting on top of my shed roof.

Paul Peditto, director of DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Service replies: That's an interesting question. A quick review of the Baltimore City code does not appear to restrict possession or use of legitimate archery hunting equipment (notwithstanding limitations on certain knives and mini- or pistol crossbows). It seems likely that the 150-yard "safety zone" would be a barrier to access in many (most?) locations. However, it is a fair question and one we'll take a harder look at during our next regulatory cycle — concept stage commences in Fall 2011, so please be sure to visit with us again during the public input phase of that effort.

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