Maryland Natural Resources Police Reminds Hunters To Stay Safe During Firearm Deer Season

Maryland Natural Resources Police Reminds Hunters To Stay Safe During Firearm Deer Season

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Annapolis, MD –-( The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) encourages hunters to put safety first as this year’s firearm deer season opens November 26, the day with the greatest concentration of hunters afield.

“Tree stand incidents account for most hunting accidents,” said NRP Superintendent Colonel George F. Johnson IV. “using the proper safety equipment is an essential component in staying safe while afield.”

All hunters should use a full-body safety harness that keeps the hunter tethered to the tree and prevents a fall to the ground. NRP reminds hunters to inspect their safety equipment prior to use and replace any worn or broken pieces. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has produced a helpful video, demonstrating how to use a tree stand and full-body safety harness that can be viewed here.

The improper use of firearms has been another cause of accidents. Hunters should inspect, be familiar with, and practice with the weapon that is to be used prior to the start of the hunt.

When handling a firearm, hunters should always follow two cardinal rules:

  • Treat every gun as if it is loaded and never point the firearm at anything unless intending to shoot.
  • Positively identify the intended target and make sure the area beyond is devoid of other hunters or property before the trigger is pulled.

Before hunting, all hunters should follow these laws and regulations before they go hunting:

  • Hunters must obtain and possess a hunting license while hunting.
  • A course in firearms and hunter safety is required for those who did not hunt prior to July 1, 1977.
  • Hunters must possess written permission from landowner before hunting on private property.
  • Hunters and companions must wear a fluorescent cap or outer garment that contains 250 square-inches of fluorescent orange color.
  • Possessing loaded weapons in a vehicle is prohibited. This includes ammunition in the magazine or chamber.
  • It is illegal to shoot or hunt from or across a roadway.
  • Hunting within 150 yards of a residence, camp or other building is prohibited without advance permission of owner or occupant.

Before removing the deer from the location of the kill, a field tag must be filled out and attached to the deer. It must be recorded on the hunter’s Big Game Harvest Record.

Hunters must check-in the deer within 24 hours of field tagging to the Department of Natural Resources via the internet at or the call the Big Game Registration phone line at 1-888-800-0120. The confirmation number must then be entered onto the Big Game Harvest Record.

Citizens are encouraged to call the Natural Resources Police Communication Center at 800-628-9944 with poaching complaints, public lands enforcement questions or maritime enforcement questions.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland’s forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland’s effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state’s number one environmental priority. Learn more at

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