An Open Letter

Delegates and Senators, please pass this law in the 2014 Legislative Session to allow rifle hunting for deer in all areas of Frederick County, Maryland – not just the “Northern Portion.” Delegates and Senators, please also restore gun rights to private Citizens.

To my Delegates and Senators, my signature on this petition serves to represent my support of expanding deer hunting with a rifle in all areas of Frederick County, Maryland for the following reasons:

I believe that by permitting deer hunting with a rifle in all areas of Frederick County, Maryland will help significantly minimize crop damage for local farmers, reduce vehicle impact losses to motorists and insurers, and ultimately maximize the surplus of venison to food banks and soup kitchens for the needy families in Frederick County, as well as, the freezers of the individuals who hunt to feed their own families.

Furthermore, Modern Rifles are the most accurate and conclusive firearm available to harvest deer and therefore, offer a more humane choice than other hunting weapons.

In addition, expanding rifle hunting to all areas of Frederick County, Maryland will enable hunters who are currently in the restricted areas, to hunt the areas in which they are accustom, permitted, and need to be harvested. This, in addition, will add to the improvements listed above.

Did you know?

In Frederick County Maryland:

  1. Deer cause an accident every 3.4 days.
  2. There were 1,632 deer-vehicle collisions in 2013 (MD DNR)
  3. The average cost of a claim from hitting a deer is $1,980 (AAA, 2010-2012).
  4. The average cost property damage claim is $3,414 (State Farm: Jul 12’-Jun 13’).
  5. Sixteen people were injured last year in the 108 deer-related accidents.
  6. #1 in the state for Total Deer harvested at 7,634, 22% higher that the #2 county
  7. It is legal to use a rifle to hunt squirrels.
  8. It is legal to use a rifle at night to hunt coyotes, raccoons, possum.
  9. It is not legal to hunt deer (a much larger animal than a squirrel, raccoon, or coyote) during daylight with a rifle in “Southern” Frederick County.
  10. It is legal for Sportsman’s Club to fire a rifle 24/7, 365 days a year, on as little as 10 acres, but for a farmer it is only legal to hunt deer on a farm for 18 days per year in “Southern” Frederick County.
  11. The 2011 Deer population study at Monocacy National Battle Field found 236 deer per square mile.  In this region, a healthy herd is 15-25 deer per square mile.
  12. Deer accounted for $ 7.3 million dollars in Maryland crop damage in 2009.
  13. Maryland Law requires Hunters to take a 10 hour safety course and be Licensed.
  14. 89% of the Firearm harvest was taken on Private Property

The Legal Process and the Existing Law:

Currently the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) prohibits hunting deer with a rifle in certain Southern portions of Frederick County, Maryland. Deer hunting with a rifle is legal in the “Northern portion” of Frederick County.

Last year, The Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County, requested our Delegates and Senators draft and pass legislation, which would have repealed these restrictions and permitted deer hunting with a rifle throughout all areas of Frederick County.

Despite 27 public meetings held by the BoCC, the Delegation has yet to move forward with this request.

Because this is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulation, DNR could make changes to this restriction. Additionally, the General Assembly could also adopt legislation that would prevail over the COMAR regulations. By signing this petition, you can join in the fight to make this legislation a law.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, support the repeal of the following language and therefore request allowance for deer hunting with a rifle throughout all of Frederick County, Maryland:

COMAR – .05 Devices for Hunting Deer and Black Bear.

B. Firearms.

Strike the following from the law …

D. In that portion of Frederick County located south of a line beginning at the Washington-Frederick County line at U.S. Route 40 and continuing on U.S. Route 40 east to Harmony Road, proceeding south on Harmony Road to Interstate 70, and following Interstate 70 east through Frederick County, an individual may not hunt deer with a rifle, although a handgun, a shotgun, a muzzle loading rifle, a muzzle loading shotgun, a muzzle loading handgun, or a muzzle loading revolver may be used.

For additional information on Deer Population in Southern Frederick County read the recently Completed Monocacy National Battlefield White Tail Deer Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. Sources: Frederick News Post October 21, 2013 & parkplanning.nps.gov/battlefielddeerplan (456 page document)