HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland's firearm deer season is opening amid signs that this year's hunt will be more productive than last year's.
The season runs from Saturday through Dec. 14.
Early season results are encouraging. The Department of Natural Resources says hunters using bows and muzzleloaders killed 26 percent more deer in September and October than during the same period last year.
Deer Project Manager Brian Eyler says the increase mainly reflects a reduced acorn crop. When deer have to move around more for food, they become more available to hunters.
Maryland's total deer harvest last year dropped below 90,000 for the first time in a decade. The firearm season accounts for more than half of the total.
Eyler reminds hunters to be safe, and to wear safety harnesses if hunting from trees.