(Annapolis, Md) Maryland hunters harvested 86,883 deer during the archery, muzzleloader and firearm seasons combined (September 5, 2014 through January 31, 2015). The harvest shows a 9 percent decrease from last year's total of 95,863. Biologists attribute the lower harvest to declines in deer numbers in rural Maryland after last year's strong harvest, and an abundant acorn crop this year that resulted in reduced deer movement for much of the season.

"The decline in the harvest this year was similar to the drop two years ago and can be expected whenever there is an abundant acorn crop," said Brian Eyler, DNR deer project leader. "Most counties with extensive oak forests saw much more of a decline than other counties, such as those on the Eastern Shore where harvest levels were very similar to last year. Strong harvests over the past decade have reduced the deer population to more appropriate levels in our rural areas where hunters have better access to property for deer hunting. The challenge remains to effectively manage deer in suburban areas where hunter access is limited and populations remain high."

The 2014-2015 statewide harvest includes: 27,053 antlered and 56,802 antlerless white-tailed deer; and 1,228 antlered and 1,800 antlerless sika deer.

The harvest in deer management Region A (Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties) decreased 5 percent from 9,176 deer last year, to 8,740 deer this year. Region A hunters reported 4,930 antlered and 3,810 antlerless deer.

Deer hunters in Region B (the remainder of the State) harvested 78,143, down 10 percent from last year's 86,687 deer. The Region B harvest was comprised of 23,351 antlered and 54,792 antlerless deer.

Hunters harvested 7,192 deer on the Sundays open for deer hunting. Of those, archery hunters harvested 1,146 deer, firearm hunters reported 5,936, and 110 were harvested with muzzleloaders.

Frederick County led the harvest totals again this year with 7,272 deer, followed by Carroll County with 5,464 and Baltimore County at 5,413. Montgomery and Washington counties rounded out the top five with 5,410 and 5,087 deer, respectively.