Loch Raven Deer Management Area

Please respect our neighbors as we ask our neighbors to respect hunters. The Department of Public Works asks you to field dress deer at the harvest location and to not dispose of remains in public areas of watershed property.

Why was bow hunting chosen to manage the deer population at Loch Raven Reservoir? 
The large population of white-tailed deer at Loch Raven Reservoir has caused widespread damage to the forest understory. The Forest Conservation Plan which was prepared for the City of Baltimore in 2003 by the Maryland DNR Forest Service found that over-browsing (grazing) by deer has eliminated virtually all young tree saplings and is the greatest threat to the forest’s ability to re-generate. It has been proven that the best way to preserve water quality is to maintain a healthy and vigorous forested buffer and reducing the deer population is the best way to ensure the long-term health of the forest.

Is this the first time bow hunting has been used to manage deer populations on Baltimore City Reservoirs? 
No. Bow hunting for deer has been allowed at Liberty and Prettyboy reservoirs for over 35 years. It was extended to Loch Raven in 2008.

When will bow hunting begin and when will it end? 
For the 2010-2011 season bow hunting is allowed from sunrise to sunset beginning on September 15, 2010 and will last until January 31, 2011. Bow Hunting for deer at Loch Raven Reservoir will continue seasonally thereafter. There is no hunting on Sunday.

Which areas of the Reservoir will be open to bow hunting? 
The Loch Raven Deer Management Area Map is below. Parking is available on Paper Mill Road and Merryman’s Mill Road. Bow hunting within 50 feet of the high water shoreline is prohibited.
• Loch Raven Deer Management Area Map 

Do I need a special permit to hunt at Loch Raven and how do I get one? 
Yes. In addition to State licenses, stamps and permits, each hunter must also possess a “Loch Raven Reservoir Deer Bow Hunting Permit” issued at no cost by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for bow hunting on the Loch Raven Watershed. No bow hunting is permitted in areas not designated for bow hunting in the Loch Raven Watershed.

What equipment may be used? 
Bow hunting is open to both vertical bows and crossbows. Regulations established by the Maryland DNR allow all bow hunters to bow hunt with a crossbow in the Region B Suburban Deer Archery Zone. A special crossbow permit is no longer required. The use of patented portable tree stands is permitted and stands must be removed at the end of the day. Leaving a tree stand overnight is prohibited. Permanent tree stands or blinds of any type are also prohibited.

May I bow hunt for other animals at Loch Raven Reservoir? 
No. Bow hunting is for white-tailed deer only.

How are harvest limits developed? 
Harvest limits for white-tailed deer are established by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Bow hunters in the Region B Suburban Deer Archery Zone (which includes Loch Raven Reservoir) may take an unlimited number of antlerless deer and two antlered deer per season. Please consult the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping, 2009-2010for additional information regarding seasons and bag limits.

What are the deer tagging and checking requirements? 
The check-in and tagging procedures are outlined in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping, 2009-2010. The Public Land Code for Loch Raven Reservoir is 342.

What is a deer cooperator? 
Deer cooperators are businesses or individuals that provide deer control assistance. They are licensed by the Maryland DNR to use non-lethal and lethal deer management techniques to help resolve deer problems. Certain portions of the Loch Raven Reservoir Watershed have been selected for deer management using Licensed Maryland Deer Cooperators and are not open to public hunting.

Where can I get information about the Forest Conservation Plan?
Download the Comprehensive Forest Conservation Plan for Long-Term Watershed Protection 
• Comprehensive Forest Conservation Plan for Long-Term Watershed Protection