HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it hopes to implement regulations allowing more Sunday hunting in western Maryland before the firearm deer season begins Nov. 29.

The department previously said the rules might not take effect before Dec. 22 due to a dispute with Sunday hunting opponents over the rulemaking process.

But Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said Wednesday that the department began the implementation process sooner than expected by publishing the proposal in Friday's Maryland Register. A public comment period runs through Nov. 3.

Unless the department finds a need for major changes, it could take final action to put the rules into effect Nov. 24, five days before the firearm deer season.

The rules are intended mainly to reduce the white-tailed deer population.