The Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks has announced its fall/winter schedule for managing the deer population through bow and shotgun managed hunts and sharpshooting. This effort helps maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population in our parks where deer browsing has been shown to reduce biodiversity.
Since the program began in 1998, there has been an observable improvement in habitat quality and vegetation abundance in many of the parks where managed hunting and sharpshooting has taken place. The managed hunt program gives specially screened and selected hunters daytime access to various parks. This year’s managed hunts will include a combination of bow and shotgun, and will take place from dawn until noon. Each park will be closed for all other uses during this time.
Separate from the managed hunts and under a special permit issued by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Howard County sharpshooting program utilizes specially trained and qualified marksmen who use highly accurate, noise-suppressed rifles to remove deer in areas where the managed hunts are not feasible. The sharpshooting will take place in during the months of February and March 2019. A schedule will come out later. All the meat from this operation will be donated to charitable organizations in the area.
Howard County Managed Deer Hunting Dates, Locations and Methods for 2018-2019:
- Blandair Regional Park: Sept. 18, 25; Oct. 18; Nov. 1 | Bow hunting
- Wincopin Train Area of Savage Park: Sept. 20, 27; Oct. 11, 23 | Bow hunting
- Middle Patuxent Environmental Area: Oct. 2, 16, 30; Nov. 12, Jan 8, 22; Feb. 6,19 | Bow and shotgun hunting
- David Force Park: Oct.4, 17, 31 | Bow and shotgun hunting
- High Ridge Park: Oct. 9; Nov. 13, 20 | Shotgun hunting
- Gorman Area: Oct. 10, 24; Nov. 14, Jan. 23; Feb. 7 | Bow and shotgun hunting
- West Friendship Park: Oct. 25; Jan. 24 | Shotgun hunting
- Schooley Mill Park: Nov. 19; Jan. 9; Feb. 21 | Shotgun hunting
- Alpha Ridge Park: Jan. 10; Feb. 20 | Bow and shotgun hunting
For more information on the deer management program, visit howardcountymd.gov/wildlife or call the Department of Recreation & Parks at 410-313-1675.