O'Malley signs western Md. Sunday hunting bills

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Local,Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Gov. Martin O'Malley is giving his blessing to more Sunday hunting in western Maryland despite opposition from birdwatchers and horseback riders.

The Democratic governor signed two bills Thursday enabling state game managers to allow Sunday deer hunting for the first time on designated public land in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.

Sunday deer hunting on private land was already allowed in those counties but Sunday deer hunting on public land was prohibited statewide.

The Maryland Ornithological Society and the Maryland Horse Council had opposed the bills. They say the measures will reduce recreational opportunities for non-hunters.

The Department of Natural Resources says these laws will help it control excessive numbers of white-tailed deer.

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