John’s Note: Fifty-year-old Mark Clemens from Baltimore, Maryland, who’s been hunting deer for 38 years, is a nuisance deer hunter. He’s on the cutting edge of changes that are being made in deer hunting across the nation. If you live in a gated community or anywhere that you’re seeing deer around your house, you need to realize that right now there are as few deer on your property as there ever will be, unless some type of control measures are instituted to keep deer numbers in check. In a healthy deer population, does will produce from one to three fawns per year with two being the average. In communities that don’t allow for the hunting of these nuisance deer, you easily can see why deer herds in suburbia are drastically increasing. The same is true for rural farms and ranches, especially where agriculture is being produced. Deer love agriculture, especially soybeans, corn, watermelons and other crops. Clemens is one of the new breed of hunters who’s tasked with the responsibility of keeping deer herds at a manageable level. Clemens also enjoys taking wounded vets hunting and introducing youngsters to the sport.
The deer population in Maryland has exploded, and more and more farmers are requesting crop depredation permits to harvest surplus deer. Too, many communities are inviting safe hunters in for special hunts to remove surplus deer on landowners’ properties. I manage a surplus deer removal hunt for a landowner who has a crop depredation permit on an 800-acre farm. Last year, we had 14 hunters, and we removed 168 deer off that property. The two previous years we took 160 and 170 deer off the 800 acres. So, we’re taking more than 100 deer a year off this 800-acre farm, and every year there are more deer for us to remove. Besides the number of deer I can take, one of the real advantages about the properties I hunt is I can take a youngster hunting with me and guarantee they’ll see deer on the hunt. My daughter has been deer hunting with me four times. She’s taken four deer – three bucks and one doe.
The popularity of urban deer hunting and permitting hunters to hunt on county lands seems to be steadily increasing. One of the employees from Howard County was hired by Montgomery County to conduct hunts in county parks using the same guidelines with the same rules and regulations that Howard County has. I helped Anne Arundel County set up hunts in their county parks with the same guidelines that Howard County uses.
The State of Maryland also conducts draw hunts that hunters can apply for on some state lands. In certain counties in Maryland, if you’re a bowhunter, you can take an unlimited number of antlerless deer. In Dorchester County, you can take one Sitka buck and two Sitka does. So, there’s plenty of opportunity for hunters to take deer in Maryland. I see nice bucks on almost every hunt. In Howard County, I’ll usually see one to three shooter bucks every year. The Accokeek Community hunt where I killed my big deer has been held for several years. On the Accokeek hunt, you can hunt all day long, but most of the hunters often only hunt only in the mornings, because they harvest so many deer that they rarely want to hunt in the afternoons.
To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and print books on hunting deer, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” (John’s latest book), “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings,” click here.