During the early portion of the archery and muzzleloader deer hunting season, hunters took 21,073 deer, a 12% increase from last year’s official take of 18,839 during the same period, according to the Maryland Department of Natural resources.

More favorable hunting conditions this year contributed to the increased harvest, according to DNR officials.

Southern Maryland hunters fared well during this year’s early deer hunting season. In Charles County, the deer harvest increased by 46.9%, from 603 in 2018 to 886 this year. St. Mary’s saw a similar increase from 542 to 799, or a 47.4% increase, while Calvert saw a smaller increase from 423 to 496, or a 17.3% increase.

The two-month harvest included 11,869 deer taken during the archery season and 9,028 harvested during the October muzzleloader season, according to the DNR. An additional 176 deer were reported during managed hunts. Hunters harvested 692 antlered and 681 antlerless sika deer as part of the total.

Hunters harvested 647 deer on Sundays that were open to archery hunting during the period, accounting for 6% of the total archery harvest.

Turkey hunters reported taking 91 wild turkeys during the fall season that was open Oct. 26 through Nov. 3 in Maryland’s three westernmost counties. The harvest was slightly lower than the 97 turkeys reported last year. Harvest numbers for each county were: Allegany, 22; Garrett, 53; and Washington, 16.