100 Best Public-Land Hunts: Maryland

Dan's Mountain Wildlife Management Area
Location
: west Maryland
Size: 9,500 acres
ZIP: 21530

It's Dan's mountain, but you can hunt it. Not far from Savage River, in neighboring Allegany County, this rugged WMA features similar habitat, but here the hardwood expanses are more intensely managed. Numerous 5-acre forest openings cut to benefit grouse populations also attract deer in search of food and cover. During deer season, land managers open access roads that are normally closed, helping spread hunters out on this moderately pressured tract.

Pocomoke River State Forest and Park
Location
: east Maryland
Size: 14,753 acres
ZIP: 21863

Pocomoke is the largest of roughly three dozen public tracts scattered throughout Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties on Maryland's lower eastern shore. Hunting pressure has dropped at this traditional deer hunting destination in recent years as suburban deer numbers in the center of the state have soared. Habitat here ranges from upland pine forest to extensive tidal marshes, and the abundance of farmland in the region helps produce bigger deer than western Maryland. Starting this year, 24 state-owned Chesapeake Forest tracts ranging from 40 acres to over 3,000 acres (many of them contiguous to Pocomoke) will be open to deer hunting, giving Maryland deer hunters even more room to roam.