Last week, the annual “Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping” hit local sporting goods stores and was posted online on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website. During the legislative session, few took note of HB 126, and its impact on hunters, which was signed by the Governor on April 11th. The Guide is a great resource, as one can find a list of all the seasons, bag limits, rules and regulations that you must to follow. You will also see on page 53 the impact of HB 126 – landowners, even when hunting on their own property, are now required to wear orange.
Children, spouses, and property owners (hunting on the owned property) are required to wear fluorescent orange.
While this may not seem like a huge issue for many, you must remember that for landowners who have hunted on their property for decades, they have never previously been required to wear orange and it is questionable as to whether they will be aware of this change in the law. Many have questioned how HB 126 became law, when organizations like Maryland Hunting Coalition was unaware of the new enactment. As HB 126 was submitted by the Chair of the Environmental Committee, it is believed that the bill was requested by the DNR. The bill was promoted as a mere housekeeping effort to clean up some old regulations and the change requiring landowners to wear orange was tucked in at the very end of the text. More interestingly, it was not mentioned in the bill summary. So just how many legislator were aware of this provision? Probably very few…
Regardless, if you are accustom to hunting on your own property, you must wear orange in compliance with the law.