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Big Bucks on Maryland's Eastern Shore


butler-day2-1Editor’s Note: Mossy Oak Pro Roy Butler lives right outside of Westminster, Maryland, and has taken as many as 30 deer in a season, but now he only harvests 2 - 5. If you're a bowhunter, a blackpowder hunter or a gun hunter, Maryland offers plenty of opportunities to fill your freezer. Many areas of Maryland have a severe overpopulation of whitetails.

As I mentioned in Day 1, an out-of-state bowhunter won’t have a problem locating somewhere to bowhunt for deer. Besides private land, here in Maryland, we have some productive public land hunting opportunities. Even that public land is often surrounded by agriculture. Wherever you see agriculture in Maryland, you'll find plenty of deer. That’s the good news. And in certain parts of our state, you can harvest a really-nice buck. However, where I hunt, we rarely if ever take a big buck, because there's just so many deer living here. During gun season, the deer have quite a bit of hunting pressure. A good buck in our area will be a buck with a rack that scores between 120 and 130 inches on Boone & Crockett.

butler-day2-2Some really-big bucks are often harvested in counties closer to the eastern shore, since the deer there have less hunting pressure, and most farms are managed to produce big deer. Over near Maryland’s eastern shore, many of the farms are leased to hunting clubs that do good jobs of managing their deer herds. The best buck I've ever taken in Maryland was a 10-pointer that would have scored 140 inches. I took him with a bow in 2000.

Since I no longer try to take as many deer as I can, I only take about one to two bucks per season and two to three does. When my children were growing up, I fed them a lot of deer meat. Since my children have left home, and my wife doesn’t want to eat venison regularly, I just don’t need as many deer. However, I still like to hunt. My son, Andrew, is 27. My daughter, JoAnne, is 30. Like me, Andrew is also a member of the Mossy Oak Pro Staff, but he hunts more than I do. He enjoys taking a large number of deer like I did when I was his age. He's a truly avid bowhunter. Occasionally, we get to hunt together. He’ll go to some of the farms that have crop damage permits and may harvest 15 to 20 deer per year. He donates most of the meat to food banks. There are a couple of butchers close to my house who will clean and butcher the deer and donate the meat to the food bank for you.

Yesterday: Out of State Bowhunting: Maryland
Tomorrow: Funnel Areas and Pinch Points


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