The number of black bears killed in Frederick County this hunting season was down compared to last year.
Hunters got three black bears in the county, down from eight in 2019. And across the state, the number of black bears killed was also down, from 145 in 2019 to 117 this year.
This was likely due to a combination of factors including challenging weather, like rain and fog, and limited natural foods, like acorns and hickory nuts for the bears, Harry Spiker, game mammal section leader with the Wildlife and Heritage Service of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, wrote in an email Monday.
The hunting season itself was five days long, from Oct. 26 through Oct. 30, and shooting was allowed from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, according to the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping website. There was a one-bear limit per hunting team for the season.
This meant that if a team went out and one of them got a bear, they were finished for the season, Spiker wrote.
Not every county was host to black bear hunting. Only Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties are in the black bear hunting zone.
There are also many regulations and guidelines in place for black bear hunting. These include requiring a permit to hunt black bears.
Getting a permit involves winning a lottery. This year, applications were submitted from mid-July to the end of August and random lottery numbers were drawn at the beginning of September, according to the website.
This way, there were a limited number of permits. People who got permits were also allowed to add one or two sub-permittees who could participate in every aspect of the hunt.