BALTIMORE — Maryland’s 19th annual black bear hunt is over.
Only 950 permits have been issued this season out of 4,775 applicants.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 103 black bears were killed during the six-day hunt that took place Oct. 24-29.
Of these bears, 62 were female and 41 were male. The heaviest bear weighed 427 pounds, well above the average weight of 177 pounds.
The highest number was reported in Garrett County, where 70 black bears were harvested.
Other surrounding western Maryland jurisdictions have also reported bear kills, including Allegany (19), Washington (10), and Frederick (4) counties.
About 67 percent of the bears were hunted on private land.
Although the number of hunts this year has more than doubled from 2021 levels, it is still slightly below the previous five-year average of 116 bears.
Better weather and food conditions were credited for the year-over-year increase, along with an extra day added to the hunting season.
Officials say a short hunting season is key to managing and maintaining the state’s healthy bear population.