Top 4 Public Lands to Hunt Deer on the Eastern Shore – Fish & Hunt

Top 4 Public Lands to Hunt Deer on the Eastern Shore

Maryland’s Eastern Shore is well known for its beaches, goose hunting, and white marlin,  but it’s also a hotspot for white-tailed deer and a haven for the elusive Sika deer. With deer season in full swing, here are the Eastern Shore’s top public lands for deer hunting.

The Chesapeake Forest

With more than 30 different tracts of land scattered over the lower Eastern Shore, the Chesapeake Forest offers an abundance of deer hunting opportunities for whitetail and sika deer alike. At least eight tracts are larger than 1,500 acres. Larger tracts and those nestled adjacent to other public hunting lands provide opportunities to find remote interior zones for the hunter seeking to be farther away from the parking areas. The production of commercial timber products has generally left interior logging trails intact for easier navigation on larger tracts.

Eastern Shore

Courtesy of Penny Ingles

E.A. Vaughn Wildlife Management Area

Interspersed with leased agricultural fields, early successional habitat plots and tidal wetland creeks, the coastal plain forests on E.A. Vaughn Wildlife Management Area’s property provide an excellent opportunity to deer hunt in a quintessential Delmarva landscape. This 2,630-acre plot includes abundant small grain agriculture, and the many mixed-deciduous bottomland forests, provide ample year-round food sources. Limited primitive camping is available and there are a variety of other lodging options nearby. Located along the Atlantic coastal bays, just a couple of miles from the Virginia state line, this wildlife management area may be outside of the typical driving zone for many traveling hunters but is an easy drive from the towns of Pocomoke City, Snow Hill and “America’s Coolest Small Town,” Berlin.

Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area

Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area’s expansive tidal marshlands transition into low, wetland forests and island hummocks that offer one of the best public land opportunities to pursue Sika deer. Upland access and an extensive interior trail network, in association with adjacent Chesapeake Forest Lands tracts, offer the ability to get away from parking areas for a solo hunting experience. Smaller forested tracts are scattered throughout Dorchester County’s low country. Multiple public boat ramps provide access to waterways for exploring marsh islands and hummocks, which can provide good hunting opportunities as well.

Eastern Shore

Courtesy of Bonnie Cole

Millington Wildlife Management Area

This 4,000-acre parcel is located in eastern Kent County and consists of hardwood forests with some pine stands, various types of wetlands, fallow managed fields, meadow plantings, and open agricultural fields. The land in Millington has a rich history and was once the home of the Lenni Lenape Indians. Diverse early successional habitat types are common throughout the area due to intensive habitat management, creating a prime habitat for white-tailed deer. Hunt-from-a-vehicle opportunities are also available (Universal Disability Pass required).

For more information on lodging options, hunting guides, outfitters and more, be sure to visit our Plan Section to make the most out of your hunt on the Eastern Shore.

Fall is beautiful in Maryland, so why not add a relaxing road trip to your itinerary while you’re hunting in Maryland? Take a little time with the family after your hunt with a trip on our state’s scenic byways.

Hotels:
Tidewater Inn
101 E Dover St, Easton, MD 21601
 
Wylder Hotel
21551 Chesapeake Acc Dr, Tilghman, MD 21671
 Robert Morris Inn
314 N Morris St, Oxford, MD 21654
Inn at Perry Cabin
308 Watkins Ln, St Michaels, MD 21663

 

Images courtesy of Jan Branscome, Penny Ingles, and Bonnie Cole via the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Flickr account as well as Queenstown Harbor