The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that hunters harvested 103 black bears during the state’s 19th annual hunt held on October 24-29 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. The harvest comprised 41 male and 62 female bears. An additional ten bears (3 male and seven female) were harvested from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 by farmers using their agricultural damage permits.

Credit: Bob Geary

The significant increase in harvest from 54 black bears taken in 2021 was attributed to better hunting conditions, more hunter participation, and an added day to the season. The 2021 hunt was hampered by poor weather and abundant natural food sources, which slowed the harvest. This year, better weather and typical fall food conditions were more favorable for hunting. The harvest was slightly lower than the previous 5-year average of 116 bears.

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

2022 Maryland Black Bear Hunt by the Numbers:

  • 103 black bears were harvested: 70 from Garrett County, 19 from Allegany County, ten from Washington County, and four from Frederick County
  • The average harvested bear weighed 177 pounds
  • The heaviest bear weighed 427 pounds and was taken in Garrett County.
  • 67% of bears were taken on private land
  • 4,775 hunters applied for a permit
  • 950 permits were awarded

More information about black bear management in Maryland is available on the department’s website.

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