Whitetail deer are plentiful in Maryland, where bag limits are generous.
Whitetail deer are plentiful in Maryland, where bag limits are generous.

Maryland is a relatively small state with huge hunting and fishing opportunities. For $130, a non-resident can purchase a hunting license with tags for bucks in three separate seasons, wild turkeys, Sika deer, black bear, and a host of other small-game opportunities. Fishing is equally excellent, with a huge striped-bass fishery in the Chesapeake bay, bass and walleye in the Potomac River, and great native trout fishing in the western counties. Check out Fish & Hunt Maryland, which makes accessing The Free State fun and easy.

The Sportsmen & Women’s Marketing Initiative (SMI) has launched www.fishandhuntmaryland.com to provide consumers with an in-depth resource for discovering Maryland’s outdoor recreational product for fishing, hunting and shooting sports.

Maryland has three separate turkey seasons with a multiple bird limit.
Maryland has three separate turkey seasons with a multiple bird limit.

Sportspersons of all experience levels will find information tailored to their specific interests from the well-seasoned to first-timers who are interested in outdoor activities. The website includes information on species on land and in water, and where to find them, and on businesses that can provide expert knowledge on hunting, fishing and shooting sports. Additionally, visitors to the site will find useful travel and regulatory information.

“This is an important step in branding Maryland as a premier place for fishing, hunting and shooting sports activities,” says Sandy Maruchi-Turner, Vice-Chair, SMI steering committee and Tourism Coordinator, Cecil County Office of Tourism. “Our research showed that once people knew about the wide variety of outdoor opportunities available in Maryland, they were more likely to travel here.”

The SMI began the development of the website after it first conducted research to determine awareness of Maryland’s outdoor product as it related to fishing, hunting and shooting sports. The research took place from August to September 2014 and was conducted by Responsive Management, Inc., a leading research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation. The research showed that many of those surveyed were unfamiliar with Maryland as a viable and attractive destination for fishing, hunting and shooting sports. A high point of the research was that those who had been to Maryland to fish and hunt ranked its sporting opportunities higher than their own state.

“The research was designed to guide marketing decisions and investments in order to capture a greater share of the $90 billion Americans spend annually on hunting and fishing nationwide,” said Bill Pencek, acting Assistant Secretary, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts.