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Maryland Small Game Hunting Laws and Regulations

Sunday Small Game Hunting Schedule 2023–2024

Eligible Small Game Species

  • Eastern cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels, eastern fox squirrels, red squirrels
  • Quail (except in Garrett and Allegany counties)
  • Ruffed grouse, pheasants

County-Specific Hunting Locations and Hours

Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s, Washington

  • Locations: Private and designated public lands.
  • Hours: Same as Monday through Saturday.

Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester

  • Locations:
    • Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s: Private lands only.
    • Somerset: Private lands and public land leased to a hunt club.
    • Wicomico and Worcester: Private and designated public lands.
  • Hours: From ½ hour before sunrise until 10:30 am on Sundays.

Designated Public Lands Open for Sunday Hunting

  • Billmeyer-Belle Grove WMA, Dan's Mountain WMA, Green Ridge SF, McCoole FMA, Sideling Hill WMA, Warrior Mountain WMA (Allegany)
  • Earlville WMA, C&D Canal Lands, Grove Farm WMA, Old Bohemia WMA (Cecil)
  • Cunningham Swamp WMA, Garrett SF, Mt. Nebo WMA, Potomac SF, Savage River SF (Garrett)
  • Salem SF, Saint Inigoes SF (St. Mary’s)
  • Indian Springs WMA, Prather's Neck WMA, Sideling Hill WMA (Washington)
  • Ellis Bay WMA, Chesapeake Forest Lands, Johnson WMA, Nanticoke WMA, Wetipquin WMA (Wicomico)
  • Chesapeake Forest Lands, E. A. Vaughn WMA, Hickory Pt. Wildlands, Isle of Wight WMA, Pocomoke SF, Pocomoke River WMA (Worcester)

Small Game Definition

  • Small game hunting includes crows, pheasant, quail, rabbits, ruffed grouse, and squirrels.

Protected Species

  • Delmarva fox squirrel and snowshoe hare are not permitted to be hunted in Maryland.

Essential Regulations for Small Game Hunting

Shooting Hours

  • Daily hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset.

Identification and Permissions

  • Hunters are required to carry a photo ID or alternative form of positive identification.
  • Written authorization needed for hunting on private land.

Licensing Requirements

  • Hunting license compulsory for small game, subject to exemptions.

Clothing Requirements

Equipment and Hunting Methods

  • Decoys, calls, and recordings are permitted for crow hunting.

Additional Restrictions

  • On the first day of Deer Firearms Season, hunting is limited to deer and coyotes only.

Small Game Hunting Equipment Guidelines

Approved Hunting Devices

  • Permitted equipment includes firearms, archery gear, and air guns that discharge bullets, arrows, or bolts.

Firearm and Shotgun Regulations

  • Shotguns must not exceed a three-shell capacity, combining magazine and chamber.
  • Overcapacity shotguns must have a plug that is non-removable from the loading side.

Sight Usage

  • Legal to use telescopic and laser sights with all devices authorized for small game hunting.

Transport and Vehicle Regulations

  • Loaded air guns or firearms must not be inside or against a vehicle, inclusive of ammunition in the magazine or a primed muzzleloader.
  • Crossbows require a functioning safety mechanism.
  • No loaded crossbow is allowed in or on vehicles; an un-bolted cocked crossbow is considered unloaded.

Shooting Restrictions and Light Casting

  • Discharging a weapon from, on, or across public roads is prohibited.
  • Casting artificial light from a vehicle onto certain outdoor spaces is illegal (see General Regulations for exceptions).

Stocked Pheasant Hunt Opportunities for Eligible Hunters

Eligibility and Participation

  • Open to:
    • Apprentice license holders
    • Junior license holders
    • New hunters
    • Those with a lapsed Maryland hunting license

Hunt Details

  • Event Type: "Do-it-yourself" stocked pheasant hunts
  • Dates: November 18 and 19, 2023
  • Venue: Various public lands statewide

Application Process and Resources

Contact for More Information

  • Email: Christopher.Markin@maryland.gov
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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.