Maryland's most popular deer hunting season opens Saturday. Fifty-five percent of all deer taken by hunters is taken during the firearm season, the Department of Natural Resources said.

In Deer Management Region A, which consists of Garrett and Allegany counties, the firearm bag limit is two deer -- one antlered and one antlerless. Only antlered deer may be taken Saturday-Dec. 9. Antlered or antlerless deer may be taken Dec 10.

In Deer Management Region B, which includes Washington and all counties east, the white-tailed deer firearm bag limit is two antlered deer and 10 antlerless deer during the season, from Saturday to Dec 10. Two antlerless deer must be taken before a second antlered deer is pursued.

Next Sunday, the first of firearm season, is open for deer hunting on private lands in Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Talbot and Washington counties. Otherwise, Sunday hunting is barred.

Deer hunters took 1,996 deer on Sunday last season, 9 percent of the two-week firearm harvest for these 12 counties.

The top 10 counties for deer kills during the 2004-05 firearm season were: Washington (6,375); Frederick (4,426); Carroll (2,953); Worcester (2,852); Allegany (2,728); Montgomery (2,485); Garrett (2,462); Dorchester (2,445); Baltimore (2,385); and Kent (2,122).