HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Maryland deer hunters are taking to the woods for the early muzzleloader deer season.

Thursday marks the first opportunity for those who hunt deer with muzzle-loading firearms. The archery deer season began Sept. 6.

READ MORE: Gervonta Davis' Longtime Trainers Sit Down With Rick Ritter Ahead Of Staples Center Fight

A change in the regulations this year makes it illegal to discharge a firearm within 300 yards of a school while hunting. The rule applies during school hours or when the building is occupied.

READ MORE: Poinsettias, Trains Help H.P. Rawlings Conservancy Get 'Back On Track'

Muzzleloaders accounted for about 18 percent of the deer taken by hunters in Maryland last season.

The more popular modern firearms season opens Nov. 30.

MORE NEWS: Essex Spreads Holiday Cheer With Christmas Tree Lighting

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)