The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported taking 27,088 deer during the state’s most popular hunt, the two-week firearms season. The total harvest was 14% lower than last year’s official count of 31,631. Bad weather on key weekends contributed to the decline in many parts of the state.

More than 2,000 deer were taken on the two Sundays during the season, representing 8% the total harvest. Sunday hunting is currently permitted on select Sundays in 20 of 23 counties.

“Rain, ice, and fog once again hampered parts of the firearms season this year,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Fortunately, deer hunters in Maryland have additional opportunities to fill their freezer with venison during the remaining hunting dates in December and January.”

Hunters reported taking 10,249 antlered deer during the two-week season, down from last year’s official total of 13,283. The antlerless harvest decreased from 18,348 last year to 16,839 this year. Sika deer represented 387 of the total antlered harvest and 507 of the total antlerless harvest.

In Baltimore County, 1,130 deer were harvested, an 11.6 percent decrease from 2018.