Bear Hunting Permits Offered Starting July 1

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife & Heritage Service announced today that applications for the 2005 black bear hunting season lottery will open July 1.

The hunt will take place Oct. 24-29 and Dec. 5-10 in Garrett County and those areas west of Evitts Creek in Allegany County. DNR has established a harvest objective of 40-55 bears for the 2005 season. Once the harvest objective is reached, the hunting season will be closed.

DNR will issue 200 bear hunting permits this season through a random drawing process. Of the 200 bear hunting permits, 120 will be issued for private land only and the remaining 80 permits will be valid for both private and public lands. Successful applicants will be required to attend an informational pre-hunt meeting prior to receiving their bear hunting permits. Each successful applicant may designate one sub-permittee. In addition, the applicant may designate a landowner as a sub-permittee while the hunter is hunting on his or her land; however, only one black bear may be harvested by the permitted hunting team.

Hunters will be able to apply for a permit both online and by telephone. To encourage applicants to use the internet application process, the web-based system will open one month earlier than the phone system. However, all applicants will have an equal chance of being drawn regardless of how they apply. Applications will be accepted online at http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us/ from July 1 through Aug. 31. Applications will also be accepted over the phone from Aug. 1 through Aug. 26, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1-888-579-6768.

Each applicant must pay a $15 nonrefundable application fee and may only enter once. Applicants must posses a valid Hunter Safety Certificate or have held a hunting license prior to July 1, 1977 or hunted on private property prior to then to apply. The drawing will be held on Sept. 2 and successful applicants will be notified shortly thereafter by mail. Additionally, all applicants may check their status online using their confirmation number.

DNR will work to partner interested landowners and hunters for private land hunting opportunities. For more information please visit us online at www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife or call 410-260-8540. For more information on black bear management in Maryland, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrnews/infocus/blackbears.asp