DNR Closes Bear Hunting Season Due To Overwhelming First-Day Success
MT. NEBO – Maryland’s first bear hunt in 51 years IS CLOSED EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND WILL NOT RE-OPEN due to overwhelming first-day success.
As of 8 p.m. Monday night, successful hunters had reported 20 bears to wildlife officials -- an overwhelming harvest rate for a single day of bear hunting. Additional bears may be checked Tuesday morning from Monday’s hunt.
“While we regret any inconvenience, our first responsibility is to manage Maryland’s natural resources, and we were concerned that opening the hunt a second day would put us over our conservative harvest target of 30 bears, and potentially jeopardize future hunts and black bear management opportunities,“ said Paul A. Peditto, Director of the Wildlife and Heritage Service for DNR.
“The success of today’s hunt is indicative of what we’ve said all along: the region has a thriving bear population, “ said Harry Spiker, Black Bear Project Leader for DNR. “Additionally, the excellent weather conditions contributed to the overall success rate as well as the participation in the first-day’s hunt.”
The proposed hunt was scheduled for Oct. 25-30 with an option for a second split season Dec. 6-10. However, all hunting was contingent upon reaching the harvest limit.
Hunters should be reassured that if they check in a bear on Tuesday that was legally harvested Monday they will not be penalized. However, all hunters must have their bears at an official check station by 4 p.m.