The 17th annual black bear hunt in Maryland is over, and while the number of bear harvested was down, the largest was taken in Frederick County.
Hunters harvested 117 black bears with 83 from Garrett County, 23 from Allegany County, eight from Washington County and three from Frederick County. Seventy-four percent of bears were taken on private land, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The largest weighed in at 537 pounds and was taken in Frederick County by Wayne Harley, of Taneytown. The average weight of harvested bears was 155 pounds.
More than, 5,700 hunters applied for a Maryland black bear hunt permit and the 950 permits were allotted via a lottery drawing in September. More than 2,600 hunters participated in the hunt, Oct. 26 to 30 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties only. Each permit holder could designate up to two sub-permitees for the hunt, but only one bear is allowed per permit.
The 2020 harvest of 117 is down from the 2019 total of 145. The number of bears taken in Frederick County was down from eight to three for this year’s hunt.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police issued several citations during the bear hunt to hunters who were legally permitted to participate in the hunt, but were unlawfully using bait to attract and lure bears. Each was fined $500.
— Susan Guynn