Watch Out Bambi! - NBC4 Washington

Watch Out Bambi!

Last year, more than 100,000 deer were killed in Maryland



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    AFP/Getty Images
    A deer born in captivity one month ago, is seen on November 6, 2009 at the Santa Fe Zoo, in Medellin, Antioquia Department, Colombia. AFP PHOTO/Raul ARBOLEDA (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

    It's open shooting season on deer in Maryland.

    For the next two weeks, more than 68,000 people are expected to participate in sending Bambi and family to an early grave.

    It's the main event for many Maryland hunters, Department of Natural Resources Deer Project Leader Brian Eyler told

    "Deer hunters look forward to sharing time with family and friends in the woods and having venison on the table. The sizeable harvest we expect during the hunt is also a critical part of DNR’s deer management program and will help reduce deer-related conflicts and habitat damage," Eyler said.

    In other words, while you may not want to alert your children or PETA about this event, drivers hitting the Maryland roads might be breathing a little easier with fewer deer to slam into.

    Deer hunters managed to pick off a record-high number of whitetails and sikas last year and more than half of those 100,437 deer were killed during the two-week firearms season, according to The Baltimore Sun.

    The annual deer harvest is also a good way for the DNR to get the deer population under control, especially since the department urges hunters to take does like Bambi's mom first instead of bucks -- because one buck is capable of mating with many does.

    Despite the record number of deer killed last year, some hunters have complained that landowner liability issues are causing hunting opportunities on private land to decrease.

    Last year, at least two occupied dwellings took an accidental hit from hunters. But the shooters were outside the 150-yard safety zone specified by state law.

    This year, a hunter was charged with manslaughter and other charges after authorities say he fired at college students he mistook for a deer, leaving one dead and another, a McLean man, wounded.