Guide to Black Bear Hunting in Maryland

Bear Hunters' Guide to Hunting Black Bears in Maryland 2014

An Overview of the Maryland Black Bear Hunting Seasons: 2004-2013

On October 25th 2004, Maryland DNR conducted Maryland’s first black bear hunting season in 51 years. After decades of research and population monitoring, the decision was made to once again hunt black bears in western Maryland. The hunt was conducted in Garrett County and western Allegany County (from Cumberland west). Two hundred bear hunting permits were awarded. The goal of the hunt was to slow the growth of western Maryland’s growing black bear population.

In 2004, 20 black bears were checked in on the opening day of the hunting season. In 2005, hunters harvested 40 bears in four days. This was achieved despite an early-season snowstorm and long-term power outages across most of the hunt area. In 2006, DNR expanded the hunt area to include all of Garrett and Allegany counties and increased the number of permits awarded to 220. In 2006, hunters harvested 41 bears in two days. Hunters harvested 51 bears in four days in 2007 and 56 bears in four days in 2008. In 2009, the number of permits was increased to 240 and 68 bears were harvested.

Despite unseasonably warm temperatures, 67 bears were harvested in five days in 2010. In 2011, 260 permits were issued and 65 bears were taken in four days. In 2012, DNR increased the number of permits awarded and quota range. In 2012, 340 bear hunting permits were awarded and 92 bears were killed in the five day season. In 2013, 380 permits were issued and 94 bears were killed in the six day season. Hunter success rates have consistently been higher than the regional average of 3% to 5% (see Table 1).


Table 1. Bear Hunt Statistics: 2004-2013

 

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

No. of Permittees

200

200

220

220

220 240 260 260
 
340 380

No. of Applications
Received

2,272

2,192

2,402

2,804

3,302 3,608 3,850 3,915 4,027 3,504

No. of Bears Harvested

20

40

41

51

56 68 67 65 92 94

Hunter Success Rate

5.5%

11%

9%

11%

12% 12% 12% 12% 13% 13%