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 prime habitat for white-tailed deer. Hunt-from-a-vehicle opportunities are also available (Universal Disability Pass required). 

To start planning your deer hunt on the Eastern Shore, be sure to visit the Plan Section of our site to find lodgingguides and outfittersoutdoor retailersand shooting rangesBe sure to visit Maryland Department of Natural Resources online for more information on seasons and regulations before heading out!

Lodging Options:

Queen Anne’s County:

Best Western  Kent Narrows MD

  • $89 plus tax November to March 2021

Holiday Inn Express Annapolis East-Kent Island

  • 1020 Kent Narrows Road Grasonville MD 21638

Hilton Garden Inn Kent Island

  • 3206 Main Street Grasonville MD 21638

Queenstown Harbor Golf Cottages

  • Chester Cottage (3125 Sq Ft) 12 Beds, 5 Full Baths $800 per night (down from $1250/night)
  • Wye Cottage (2050 Sq Ft) 8 Beds, 3 Full Baths $575 per night (down from $750/night)
  • Corsica Cottage ( 2550 Sq Ft) 8 Beds,  4 Full Bath $700 per night ( down from $950/night)

Kent Island Beach House

  • “6 Pack” Stay Sun-Wed night for up to 6 guests in one of our homes.
  • 1 Night for $825, 2 Nights for $1400, or 3 Nights for $1800

Talbot County:

Quality Inn Easton

  • Complimentary breakfast starts at 5:00 a.m. for early hunters.
  • Contact (410) 820-8333 for reservations.

Dorchester County:

Holiday Inn Express Cambridge

  • 2715 Ocean Gateway, Cambridge, MD 21613
  • Contact (410) 221-9900 or email [email protected] for more information.
  • (410) 221-9900

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort and Spa

  • 100 Heron Blvd, US-50, Cambridge, MD 21613

Comfort Suites

  • 2936 Ocean Gateway, Cambridge, MD 21613 

Kent County:

Stepne Manor

  • 406 S. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620
  • 3 story home, 5 bedrooms, sleeps 8-15 people

Brittland Estates

  • River Lodge is $475 a night, sleeps 8 – 10 people
  • Stepne Manor is $600 a night, sleeps 8 – 15 people
  • Brittland Manor is $1100 a night, sleeps 14 – 27 people

Cinnamon By The Bay

  • In Town Guest Rooms – $105 per night (sleeps 2)
  • In Town Guest Suite – $120 per night (sleeps 4)
  • Bayside Cottage – $200 per night (sleeps 6)

Mariners Motel

  • 5681 S Hawthorne, Rock Hall, Md 21661
  • Contact the motel at 410-639-2291

Quality Suites

  • 160 Scheeler Road, Chestertown 21620

Inn at Huntingfield Creek

  • 4928 Eastern Neck Road, Rock Hall 21661

Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn

  • 25227 Chestertown Road, Chestertown 21620

Great Oak Manor

  • 10568 Cliff Road, Chestertown 21620

Holiday Inn Express

  • 150 Scheeler Road, Chestertown 21620

Wicomico County:

Sleep Inn Salisbury

  • 406 Punkin Ct., Salisbury, MD 21804
  • 20% discount off retail rate for our Visiting and Local, Hunters & Fishing Enthusiasts

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