Jim Shockey is one in all America’s best-known hunters and movies his world-wide adventures for his TV exhibits. Given the character of Maryland’s Sika deer, it’s no marvel that Shockey visited the Jap Shore for this distinctive trophy. Sika deer, the Asian elk by genus/species, discovered a house within the swamps of Maryland’s Jap Shore and has turn out to be one of the difficult recreation animals within the East. Identified for exceptionally fine-tasting venison, these creatures mimic a number of of the behaviors of Western elk akin to bugling and wallowing. They differ in dimension and exercise with the Sika transferring principally at first and final mild.
This big whitetail deer got here from Wicomico County, one of many many counties on Maryland’s Jap Shore that produce big deer. This enormous buck grossed 203 B&C and is actually each hunter’s dream. The prospect of taking an enormous whitetail buck and a Sika stag on the identical license is simply one of many main causes this looking combo is so standard. Licenses can be found on-line or over-the-counter and non-residents have the identical bag limits as residents.
Prime, Prime Time
Sika deer are troublesome to hunt as a result of they’re very nocturnal and stay in dense swamps the place vegetation is thick and mosquitoes even thicker. The most effective instances to hunt them is in mid-October throughout their mating interval. Males bugle by making a high-pitched, multi-tone whistle which will be heard for fairly a distance on calm days. Since these animals chase via swamps, their splashing is an actual rush when the sounds abruptly head in your course. For 2023, Maryland’s early muzzleloading season opens from October 19 to 21 however excludes archery from these dates. Many sportsmen select to bowhunt and muzzleloader hunt throughout this rutting time. Additionally, whitetail deer usually have their early rut in mid-October when just a few does come into estrus a month sooner than the traditional cycle.
What’s It Like
Mid-October is the mating season for Sika deer and the time of peak exercise throughout daylight. The above image offers an concept of the kind of terrain that you could be be looking in and it’s not for sissies. I’ve two buddies who cherish this hunt and have been profitable, however solely with a variety of planning and work. They use a canoe to get to a distant bay after which seek for spots on excessive grounds within the swamps. Sikas make trails like Western elk and whitetail deer they usually scout till they discover a number of trails crossing and deploy a climbing tree stand. They put on chest waders since wading via shallow water is a close to certainty. They hunt with muzzleloaders, but every is an avid archer they usually could hunt a day or two with crossbows earlier than the muzzleloading season opens.
Public or Personal Land
When you’ve got restricted time to scout and prep for this hunt, it could be finest to e book a guided hunt. Sika deer hunts have turn out to be standard and this can be a good approach to “study the ropes” for future excursions by yourself. With the arrival of OnX Maps and different mapping apps, finding boundaries is way simpler and so is “staying discovered.” You’ll in all probability need to hunt till the final minutes of authorized capturing mild and few issues are as disorienting as a swamp at night time. The Blackwater Wildlife Refuge is a big chunk of public land and is standard with hunters. Sika looking is authorized in all Maryland counties with Worchester being the preferred. The Maryland DNR provides particular hunts on public lands just like the Assateague Island Nationwide Seashore, nonetheless, the drawing deadline for these hunts has handed.
Sika deer will be hunted in all three Maryland seasons- archery (together with crossbows), muzzleloader, and firearm and if you’re unsuccessful in a single season, you should utilize the identical license for an additional season. A feminine sika deer will weigh between 40 and 50 kilos with males, stags, approaching 100 kilos. Since these animals are smaller than whitetail deer, it could appear that heavy whitetail deal with with giant slicing broadheads is just not as necessary. Not so. Not solely will your goal be small and infrequently standing in weeds or shrubs, nevertheless it’s extraordinarily troublesome to path a deer over water and thru swamps. You need as on the spot of a kill as attainable.
Sources for this Hunt
These two out-of-state hunters (PA and NY) took nice deer on a Shore hunt and you may too. Maryland has tons of data on their DNR.Maryland.Gov web site and an web search of Sika deer will convey up quite a few web sites. Listed here are folks I’ve hunted with and used as assets. Hopkins Deer Looking will be reached at www.Hopkinshunting-Clays.com, www.Bucks-Bears-Stags.com is a complete abstract of Maryland looking choices, and Jap Shore information Corey Itnyre will be reached at 240-217-3692. Better of luck.