2008 Regulatory Success

Important Update

MAWC successful in fighting new DNR regulations!

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Wednesday, March 19, that it is withdrawing its proposal to extend the gun hunting and trapping seasons for red and gray fox due to overwhelming opposition.

This potentially harmful change was stopped dead in its tracks thanks to your MAWC Board of Directors, MAWC’s lobbyist, and last but not least to the many MAWC members who took the time to send their comments to DNR.

Regulatory Alert

March 6, 2008

Dear Maryland Foxchasers:

This is to alert you to the fact that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently in the process of adopting its hunting and trapping regulations for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 hunting seasons.

DNR is considering a potentially harmful regulation change that would extend the gun hunting and trapping of red and gray foxes by another two weeks in some jurisdictions in Maryland.  This proposed extension would endanger the fox population by stretching into the gestation / birthing period for foxes. Hunters, and certainly trappers, cannot distinguish between a dog fox and a vixen nor can they determine if a vixen is pregnant.  If they kill a pregnant vixen, they are also killing an average of five pups.

There is no overpopulation of fox in the State of Maryland that would require expanding the hunting and trapping season.  The current regulations seem to work, so why change them.

The Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation (MAWC) is working hard to ensure that these changes are not adopted but we need your help!  DNR is accepting public comments until March 21 at 4:00 p.m.  Please feel free to incorporate some of the concerns referenced above or include some of your own. We urge you to weigh in on this matter.  You can submit your comments via email, postal mail, telephone, or fax:

Paul A. Peditto, Director, DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service, Tawes State Office Building E-1, Annapolis, MD 21401.  Fax:  410-260-8596.  Email:  customerservice@dnr.state.md.us.  Phone:  410-260-8540 or 877-620-8DNR, ext 8540.

Albert J.A. “Jay” Young
Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation

July 2012: DNR adopts new fox shooting regulations

Despite MAWC’s hard work to defeat DNR’s proposal to extend the fox shooting season, they have approved the regulation changes as follows:

Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties:  shooting will be permitted until February 4 instead of January 19.

Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester:  shooting will be permitted until February 15 instead of January 31.

Charles and Dorchester counties remain unchanged and hunters are permitted to shoot fox year ‘round.

Thank you to all who sent your comments to DNR.

2007 Final Legislative Report

Midnight on April 9, 2007 marked the end of the first session of the 2007-2010 General Assembly term.  Close to 2,500 bills were introduced; approximately 800 passed.

This is the final legislative update for 2007.  However, it is possible that there may be some regulatory matters throughout the year that require MAWC’s attention.  In this case, this website will be updated to reflect any such matters.

Following are bills of interest with their respective outcomes:

SB 188/HB 632, Harford County – Deer Hunting on Private Lands – Sundays.  Several years ago, when Sunday hunting became law, a few counties decided they wanted to opt out.  Each subsequent year one or two of those counties have decided to opt in and allow Sunday hunting.  This bill will more than likely pass with no opposition since farmers and landowners are suffering crop losses resulting from deer overpopulation. Committees:  Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs; House Environmental Matters.  This legislation did not pass due to internal Harford County politics.  Expect it to return next year.

SB 341/HB 431, Creation of a State Debt – Montgomery County – Woodstock Equestrian Parkwould authorize a state debt not to exceed $500,000, the proceeds to be used as a grant to the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery County Parks Foundation, Inc. for the planning, design, construction and equipping of a public equestrian park.  Committees:  Senate Budget and Taxation; House Appropriations.  This project was included in the final capital bond loan bill (SB 56/HB 51) which passed both houses.

HB 601, St. Mary’s County-Deer Hunting on Private Property-Sundays, would allow only bow hunting on private property in St. Mary’s County on the last three Sundays in October, the second Sunday in November, and on the second Sunday of the deer firearms season.  Committee:  House Environmental Matters.  This bill passed both houses with the amendment that eliminated one Sunday.

HB 701, Natural Resources-Preservation of Parkland.  This bill would require the Governor to increase funding to preserve State forests and parkland.  Committee:  House Environmental Matters.  House Environmental Matters.  As expected, this bill was given an unfavorable report by the House Appropriations Committee due to its mandate that the Governor appropriate money for the purpose of preserving parkland.  In other words, it carried a big, continuous price tag.

SB 717, Somerset County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County – Deer Hunting on Private Lands – Sundays, is another local bill that would remove these three counties from the list of counties that currently do not allow Sunday firearms deer hunting and would also allow bowhunting on private property the last three Sundays in October and the second Sunday in November. Currently Dorchester County allows this.  This bill passed both houses.

The Maryland General Assembly’s website, www.mlis.state.md.us, is packed with all sorts of information.  You can find status of legislation, bill hearings, legislators’ biographical information, contact information, and much, much more.

2006 Final Legislative Update

Congratulations to MAWC Vice President Ed Fry upon his appointment by the Governor to the Wildlife Advisory Commission.  The Commission advises Wildlife Programs and the Secretary of DNR on wildlife matters.  Members are appointment by the Governor to four-year terms.


The 2006 General Assembly Session adjourned sine die on April 10 with 2,856 bills having been introduced.  This number is second only to 1984 when 2,930 bills were introduced.  Following is the final outcome of previously reported legislation:

HB 205/SB 278, Anne Arundel County-Deer Hunting on Private Lands-Sundays. When Sunday gun hunting was originally signed into law in 2003, Anne Arundel was among 11 counties that opted out.  The County has decided that due to deer overpopulation, it would opt into the law and allow gun hunting on the first Sunday of  the regular deer season.  A big “thank you” goes to Delegate Virginia Clagett, District 30, Anne Arundel County, who voted against these bills on the floor of the House. SEE STATUS BELOW.

HB 939/SB 875, Montgomery County – Deer Hunting on Private Lands – Sundays.  Montgomery County has also been included in the 11 counties that opted out of Sunday gun hunting but because of deer overpopulation, now wants Sunday hunting.  This bill differs from the Anne Arundel bill in that it specifies a “sunset” of two years and requires DNR to study the effectiveness of Sunday hunting and report its findings to the Legislature.  SEE STATUS BELOW.

Sunday hunting now enjoys mass approval and support from farmers whose crops are being destroyed, to suburbanites whose neighborhoods are overrun by deer and who fear Lyme’s disease, to drivers who damage their cars and sustain injuries when they hit deer on the road.

The Anne Arundel and Montgomery County Sunday hunting bills flew through the legislative process with no opposition from Maryland residents and only a few opposition votes on the Senate and House floors.  However, Senate President Mike Miller voted against all of these bills.  Thank you, Mr. President!

Since these bills were cross filed in the House and Senate and are “local courtesy” bills, they passed both houses and will be signed into law by the Governor.  However, MAWC continues to work with legislators and DNR to ensure that people who practice our sport will have equitable use of land.

HB 465, Howard County-Steel Jaw Leghold Trap Prohibition.  This is a perennial bill that bans leghold traps in Howard County.  They are already banned – on land – in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s except by farmers and their agents.  This bill passed the House of Delegates 115-18 and the Senate 30-16.  It remains to be seen if the Governor will veto.

HB 495, Improper Transport of Horses – Prohibitions.  This bill specifies that trailers be constructed in a manner that will ensure the health and well being of horses.  This is a common sense bill that benefits all of us and our horses.  This bill passed the House 139-0 and the Senate 47-0 and should be signed by the Governor.

For further information on legislation and to find out how to contact your legislators, visitwww.mlis.state.md.us or click on Maryland General Assembly on our Links page.