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Crossbow Deer Hunting Opens Oct. 1

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 22, 2003) — Crossbows will be legal for deer hunting from Oct. 1-15 during Maryland’s Deer Bow Season. The last two weeks of Maryland’s Bow Season (Jan. 15 – 31, 2004) will also be open for crossbow deer hunting.

All crossbow hunters must possess a Resident or Nonresident hunting license and a Resident or Nonresident Bow Stamp. Any white-tailed deer or sika deer taken with a crossbow will count toward the appropriate Regional Bow Bag Limit. All bow-hunting regulations apply to crossbow hunters.

Crossbows must have a minimum draw of 75 pounds and have a working safety. Arrows used for deer hunting with a crossbow must have sharpened broadhead metal points with a minimum width of 7/8 inch. A cocked crossbow may not be transported in a vehicle whether unloaded or loaded with an arrow.

Any deer taken with a crossbow or vertical bow must be registered at the DNR Official Deer & Turkey Check Stations. Deer taken with crossbows will be registered as taken with a crossbow. Deer taken with straight limb, recurve or compound bows will be registered as taken with vertical bows. Maryland DNR biologists will be able to accurately record the harvest of deer taken with crossbows versus vertical bows. This will allow DNR to verify the influence of crossbows on deer management.

DNR offers the following safety reminders for crossbow hunters:

bulletNever walk, jump a ditch or climb a tree with the crossbow cocked and loaded with an arrow.
bulletMatch crossbow arrow weights to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
bulletWhen releasing an arrow, keep fingers and thumb down on the crossbow forearm and out of the travel path of the string and cables.
bulletRemember that 40 yards is the maximum effective range of a crossbow.
bulletAt the completion of the hunt, use a field point arrow to uncock the crossbow by shooting the arrow into soft earth.

Complete bag limits, season dates, bow hunting regulations and other hunting and trapping information can be found on the DNR website The Hunting & Trapping In Maryland 2003-04 Guide, which is issued with each hunting license, also contains detailed information about all Maryland’s hunting and trapping seasons.




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