More than 100 black bears killed in annual Maryland hunt

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s 19th annual black bear hunt has concluded.

Only 950 permits were issued this season out of 4,775 applicants.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 103 black bears were killed during the six-day hunt which spanned from October 24 through 29.

Of those bears, 62 were female and 41 were male. The heaviest bear weighed in at 427 pounds, well above the average weight of 177 pounds.

The highest number was reported out of Garrett County, where 70 black bears were harvested.

Other surrounding Western Maryland jurisdictions also reported bear killings, including in Allegany (19), Washington (10), and Frederick Counties (4).

About 67 percent of the bears were hunted on private land.

Although this year’s hunting numbers more than doubled 2021 levels, it still fell slightly short of the previous 5-year average of 116 bears.

Better weather and food conditions were credited for the year-over-year increase, as well as an additional day added to the hunting season.

Officials say a short hunting season is essential in managing and maintaining the state’s healthy bear population.

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