bunny in a field

Small Game

Whether you’re a seasoned rabbit hunter, or taking the kids out on their first-ever hunt, Maryland’s small game species and opportunities cater to all skill sets. Cottontail rabbit, squirrel, fox, hare, grouse, quail, pheasant, and crow can be found in abundance all throughout Maryland. Hunt private and public lands, as well as regulated shooting areas (RSAs), while you teach the youngsters the hunting basics or brush up on your own small game expertise right here in Maryland.

3 hunters and their beagles

Small Game Hunting


Seasons vary between mammals and birds. While small game mammal hunting takes place from early September through the end of February, birds seasons can vary.

For information on seasons, sizes and limits for small game, click HERE. For information on furbearer seasons, sizes and limits, click HERE.


Hunting on private and public lands for small game is permitted throughout the state during the specified season. For the novice hunter, acquiring a guide while hunting small game may be your best choice to get the most out of your hunting trip to Maryland. Not only do guides have extensive knowledge of the land, but they have access to hunting opportunities on private lands not open to the general public.

Is this your first time hunting? A first-timer may find a Regulated Shooting Area (RSA) more suitable than trekking through the woods. A RSA is a tract of land, including any waters, on which the licensee may release and shoot captive-raised turkey, pheasant, bobwhite quail, chukar partridge, Hungarian partridge, and mallard ducks. Great for first-time bird hunters, RSAs offer a chance to hone their skills before heading out in the field to hunt. Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for a full list of RSAs in our state.

License and Regulations

Simple, quick, and at the palm of your hand, DNR’s app is the easiest way to for both residents and non-residents to get a Maryland hunting license. Download the app on your smartphone (MD DNR), click Apply for License, and enroll. From the app, you can also register any kills, post photos, and check for regulations updates. Or, you can apply for a license through Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ website.

A Regular Hunting License, Junior Hunting License, any Senior Hunting License, or a Nonresident (full term or short term) Hunting License is required to hunt migratory game birds in Maryland. All migratory game bird hunters, including those who are exempt from the hunting license requirement, must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp. In addition, all waterfowl and coot hunters over the age of 15, including those who are exempt from the hunting license requirement, must purchase a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp. For information on Licenses, Stamps, & Permits including descriptions, prices, and availability click HERE.

Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ website for a complete list of seasons and bag limits.

Money generated from the sale of licenses goes directly to the conservation, protection, and preservation of Maryland’s natural habitat and cherished wildlife. Maryland DNR works tirelessly to maintain a healthy population of fish and game, and the regulations needed to sustain fishing and hunting in Maryland. Changes in regulations, dates, and requirements vary year-to-year. Please check with DNR frequently for the most up-to-date information.