Public deer hunting in Howard Co. parks starts Sept. 18

A contemplative looking deer in front of some hostas and other plants in a garden. There are some things you can do to keep your hostas safe from less contemplative deer. (Thinkstock)(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — Howard County’s managed deer hunting program, designed to reduce the impact deer have on local agriculture and foliage, starts with bow hunting in Blandair Regional Park on Sept. 18.

The county’s deer management program grants specially screened hunters access to local parks between the hours of dawn and noon on specific dates. On those dates, hunters are allowed to shoot deer while the parks are closed to the general public.

According to a news release sent by the county, the managed hunting program, in place for 20 years, has played a significant role in reducing the deer population. “This effort helps maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population in our parks where deer browsing has been shown to reduce biodiversity,” the county said.

The Howard County managed deer hunting schedule is below. A sharpshooting program overseen by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be limited to February and March 2019. A schedule for that will come out later.


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

Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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