News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Black Bear Hunt Closed

OAKLAND, MD — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the conclusion of the 2009 black bear hunting season. The season opened Monday, October 26 in Garrett and Allegany counties. The hunt was officially closed Thursday, October 29, at 9:00 p.m. with 68 bears reported to mandatory check stations in Western Maryland.

Harry Spiker, Game Mammal Section Leader for DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service, said “The 2009 bear hunt was an unqualified success. Despite marginal weather conditions most of the week, our harvest range of 60-85 bears was met in four days. The hunt remains a safe, effective, well-regulated and scientifically sound tool for sustainably managing our bear population.”

Spiker added, “The new permit application preference point system proved effective this year. More than 3,600 hunters applied for one of the 240 available bear hunting permits and 81% of the permits were awarded to applicants with one or more preference points”.

The average estimated live weight of the bears taken this year was 140 lbs. The largest bear of the season was a 409 lb. male taken by Wayne Chenoweth of Westminster, MD.

The hunt by the numbers:

  • Harvest goal: 60-85 bears
  • 68 bears taken
  • 60 from Garrett County, 8 from Allegany County
  • 140 lbs. average weight
  • 74% of the bears were taken on private land
  • 4 bears were previously tagged and treated as nuisance bears
  • 552 hunters participated in the hunt and 3,608 hunters applied for a permit

For more information about Maryland’s black bears visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/.


   October 30, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 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 12 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