Maryland officials announce 103 black bears were harvested in annual hunt


Maryland hunters harvested 103 black bears during the annual bear hunt from Oct. 24 through Saturday, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced.

Farmers with agricultural damage permits brought in 10 other bears, three male and seven female, from Sept. 1 through Monday.

This year’s bear crop, with 41 males and 62 females, nearly doubled the 54 total bears harvested in 2021. 

The vast majority of the bears came from Garrett County, with 70; 19 were felled in Allegany County, 10 in Washington County, and four in Frederick County, the DNR said.

“Bear hunters enjoyed prime fall weather this year … pursuing one of our most recognizable game species,” said DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto. “Bear hunting remains an essential tool for managing our expanding bear population to minimize human conflicts and ensure it remains healthy for future generations.”

The weights of the hunted bears varied. The average weight was 177 pounds, while the heaviest specimen was 427 pounds. That male bear was taken Friday, according to the Cumberland Times-News.

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Most of the hunts, 67%, took place on private land, conducted by those with one of 950 permits awarded by officials. A total of 4,775 hunters had registered for the permit lottery.

While better weather and ideal food conditions allowed for numbers to bounce back, the 2022 black bear hunt is still below the previous five-year average of 116 bears hunted per year.

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