Bow Hunting Loch Raven Reservoir

If you hunt in central Maryland, you probably have either hunted in Loch Raven Reservoir, or have heard about hunting there. Loch Raven Reservoir Watershed is the smallest out of Baltimore County’s 3 watersheds, the other two, Liberty Reservoir and Prettyboy Reservoir are much larger in land size, but you can hunt there as well. I have hunted Loch Raven since it has been open and hunted along it on private property for almost 20 years now.  I mostly hunt the northern section, but I also make my way down to southern locations as well.  Most people that have hunted Loch Raven since it was opened will tell you that first season was the year to hunt, although the second wasn’t too bad either.  Well, but of course that would be the case when you open land that had never been hunted.  Tons of monster bucks were killed, most were 140+ deer that were harvested and even a few 170+ inch deer.  Then, year two came around and there were less deer than anyone could have imagined, but even than there were still some big deer to be had. However, then year 3 came around and a few bigger deer returned but not the same caliber as before.  Each time I go into Loch Raven I meet a new person, whether they are hunting or not and I find it interesting that so many different types of people interact in the same place.  Maybe this is why less deer are harvested and you either see very few deer or tons.  They are driven around the watershed, between us hunters going to our stands, hikers, bikers, dog walkers, etc. the deer have no clue where to go or just work around us all.   This can be good for hunting in some cases, or bad in others.  It can be a little upsetting to some, but the biggest challenge I have had is when I go to a spot and there are already 2 – 3 or more people there.  I end up moving on to the next promising spot.  I am one of those people that feel bad walking in on someone else’s setup.  I know many people do not mind, but some do and I like to keep the peace and enjoy the sport. I will attempt to go no less than 100 yards away from someone else or I will totally exit the area and head to another area of Loch Raven.

Loch Raven has a lot to offer the hunter, many different types of landscape to hunt and a wide range of appealing areas with large deer populations.  I have talked to many different people over the time that I have hunted there, and heard stories of sighting 70 deer in an evening, or the tale that two hunters shot an 11 point and 12 point in the same area of woods in one night.  Who knows which parts of the stories are true, and which are not.  I have also been told to go to certain spots because someone sees a big buck all the time, but are they telling the truth or just want you away from the spot you are hunting that day?  So, remember, Loch Raven has a lot to offer you, but try different things, different places, do your homework, and most important of all, only listen to the people you trust. I can honestly tell you some of those stories may be tree,  I have has several evening hunts or hunts in the snow were I have seen large numbers of deer, I have also seen some giants in the woods, but one thing is for sure, nothing repeats itself in Loch Raven every day. You could see 30 deer one night, and none the next 5 nights in the same spot.

Here are some useful links and information about hunting in Lock Raven.

The link below is to the rules and regulation for hunting Loch Raven, as well as that shows you where you can hunt and cannot hunt. The map will also show you where you can park and other trails and such.

Below is the link to the free registration form which you must fill out and carry with you at all times while hunting in the Loch Raven Watershed.  *** REMEMBER YOU MUST STLL HAVE A VAILD MARYLAND HUNTING LICENSE ON YOU AT ALL TIMES AS WELL

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Leave a comment and share your experiences or ask questions about hunting in Loch Raven Watershed!



1 Response

  1. [...] These numbers are very interesting since Loch Raven Reservoir is grossly smaller than the other to at only 1,600 acres.  This means that more deer were taken per acre in Loch Raven than either of the other two reservoirs.  I can tell you that a big part of that is the fact that a large number of people (me included) hunt Loch Raven on a regular basis.  I will also tell you that deer numbers are down in Loch Raven since they opened it up to hunting.  However, I would like to give you my real observations on Loch Raven hunting, which is that yes, deer numbers are down in Loch Raven, but because of the large amount of people that use it for not only for hunting, but all those other activities that I mentioned the deer are getting smarter.  I have hunted areas of Loch Raven day after day and not seen a single deer during daylight hours, yet walking out of the woods right after dark or right before sunrise, you spook large numbers out of those very same areas.  This tells me that the deer are becoming more nocturnal because of all of the activity in the woods during daylight hours.  So, when choosing your hunting area in Loch Raven, think of either a place that gets less foot traffic, or a location that deer might get pushed by those not even aware that they are there.   Loch Raven’s buck to doe ratio is fairly similar to the other reservoirs, so this means you have an equal opportunity to take a buck as you do a doe, again as long as you are in the right place at the right time.  You can also read my article on Bow Hunting Loch Raven Reservoir. [...]
  2. Jim Harner
    Ok let me start by saying im from PA and maybe you would not help me. Hunting has changed alot the last few years and hunters dont help other OUTSIDE hunters anymore BUT i thought this was worth a try.I would like to come and hunt marylands reserrvoirs starting with loch ravin but dont have a clue where to start and have a father that likes to hunt with me and has some helth problems so cant do a lot of walking but we enjoy the outdoors just the same all i would like to ask is a good place to start .you can email me at thank you for your time

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