|Press Releases | DNR Press Room | Search DNR | DNR Home|
Department of Natural Resources Announces Quota for the 2005 Black Bear Hunting Season
ANNAPOLIS — The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the harvest quota for the 2005 black bear hunting season. After a careful review of the data from the 2004 bear hunting season, non-hunting bear mortalities and other population monitoring surveys, the DNR has set the quota at 40-55 bears for the 2005 season.
“Our comprehensive population monitoring models continue to support that Maryland’s black bear population is growing in western Maryland,” said Wildlife & Heritage Service Director Paul A. Peditto. “DNR will continue to manage western Maryland’s bear population conservatively, ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy bears on the landscape. With that in mind, we have selected a range for this year’s quota to help us better respond to hunting pressure and success rates while remaining below the maximum harvest quota that we could have selected.”
In 2004, Maryland held its first black bear hunt in over 50 years. The highly regulated hunt was conducted in Garrett County and Allegany County west of Evitts Creek. A maximum of 200 black bear hunting permits were issued for last year’s hunt; with 362 permittees and subpermittees participating in the 2004 hunt. The scheduled five-day hunt was closed after 20 bears were taken in one day.
The bears taken in last year’s hunt had an average weight of 178 pounds, and ranged in size from an 84-pound, 1½-year-old sow to a massive 496-pound male bear.
The harvest objective for 2005 is set at a level that will continue to slow the growth of the region’s black bear population while ensuring its long-term stability. Interested hunters will again apply for a chance to get one of 200 bear hunting permits through an Internet and telephone lottery process that will begin on July 1. Detailed application instructions will be included with the 2005-06 hunting license, which goes on sale July 1.
This year’s quota-driven hunt will take place Oct. 24-29 and Dec. 5-10. All hunters will again be required to call in each evening to learn if the quota has been met. Once it is met the hunt will be closed.
March 23, 2005
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov