The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering a pheasant hunting lottery for junior license holders, apprentice license holders, and lapsed hunters. The hunt is part of a broader effort to introduce—and reintroduce—people to hunting. It is part of an effort to boost participation in the state in the midst of a long-term decline in hunter numbers nationwide. Stocked roosters tend to be easier to kill than their wild counterparts.

“We are very excited to once again offer this unique hunting opportunity,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “With more locations added this year, the stocked pheasant hunts provide all who participate with memories to last a lifetime.”

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Twelve wildlife management areas and two state forests will be stocked with birds for the special two-day hunt. Any youth hunter, apprentice hunter, or lapsed hunter may enter the lottery by filling out an application on the DNR’s website. All applicants must have a DNR ID number to apply and will need to possess a valid hunting license to participate in the hunt, if selected. The state considers a person to be a “lapsed hunter” if they have held a Maryland hunting license in the past but have not purchased a hunting license for any three of the last five years. Interested hunters must send in their applications by October 15. The hunt will be held on November 20-21, 2021.