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

Top 4 Public Lands to Hunt Deer on the Eastern Shore

Posted on: November 21, 2018 By: FHMD

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 as well as some great hotel rates to make the most of your hunt.

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.

E.A. Vaughn Wildlife Management Area

Eastern Shore

Sika Deer by Brian Griffith

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 many other lodging options located 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.

Millington Wildlife Management Area

Eastern Shore

Photo Courtesy of Jan Branscome

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 WMA 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).

Be sure to visit Maryland Department of Natural Resources for information on hunting licenses and regulations. For more information on lodging options, hunting guides, outfitters and more, be sure to visit the Plan Your Trip section of our website to make the most out of your hunt on the Eastern Shore.

Lodging Deals

Here are a few lodging deals on the Eastern Shore to help make the most out of this year’s deer hunt:

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina
100 Heron Blvd., Cambridge, MD 21613

  • Hunters stay for $109 Sunday – Friday, and for %129 on Saturdays through January.
  • Click here to book your stay – be sure to use promo code GET18D for the Getaway Special.
  • (410) 901-1234

Sleep Inn Salisbury
406 Punkin Ct., Salisbury, MD 21804

  • Rates starting at $69.99. Be sure to mention Hunter’s Special when you call.
  • Click here for more information and for bookings.
  • (410) 572-5516

LaQuinta Inn & Suites Salisbury
300 South Salisbury Blvd. Salisbury, MD 21801

  • $69 per night plus tax (including breakfast). Valid through March 1st. Anyone interested in booking, should use the code Hunter’s Rate.
  • Click here for more information and for bookings.
  • (410) 546-4400

Courtyard by Marriott Salisbury
128 Troopers Way, Salisbury, MD 21804

  • 15% off regular rates for hunters. Valid through February 2019.
  • Use code LLR when booking online.
  • (410) 742-4405

Holiday Inn Express Cambridge
2715 Ocean Gateway, Cambridge, MD 21613

  • 20% discount for a double occupancy. Complimentary hot breakfast buffet starts at 5:00 a.m. for early hunters.
  • Contact (410) 221-9900 or email for more information.
  • (410) 221-9900

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chestertown
150 Scheeler Rd., Chestertown, MD 21620

  • Hunters rate $95 Sunday through Thursday, $105 on weekends.
  • Call property for reservations at 1-888-HOLIDAY, or book online here.
  • (410) 778-0778


Photos courtesy of Steve Edwards, Brian Griffith, and Jan Branscome via Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Flickr account