First Bear Hunt Since 1953

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife & Heritage Service reminded interested parties today that applications to participate in the first black bear hunt in 51 years will only be taken until Sept. 21.

The hunt will take place Oct. 25-30 and Dec. 6-11 in Garrett County and those areas west of Evitts Creek in Allegany County.

Bear hunting permits will be made available through a random drawing process. Since opening a week ago, more than 1,300 hunters have applied to be selected. Applications will not be accepted after 8 p.m. on Sept. 21. Anyone wishing to apply for the drawing can do so by calling 1-888-579-6768 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays or 24/7 online at http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us/.

To apply, 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 July 1, 1977 to apply. The drawing will be held on Sept. 22 and all applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

DNR will issue 200 bear-hunting permits this season. 140 of the 200 bear hunting permits will be issued for private land only, and the remaining 60 permits will be valid for both private and public lands. Each successful applicant may designate one sub-permittee, if hunting on private land the landowner may become a landowner sub-permittee, however each permit is valid for only one black bear.

The DNR will work to partner interested landowners and hunters for private land hunting opportunities. DNR has established a harvest objective of 30 bears for the 2004 season. Once that harvest objective is reached, the hunting season will be closed.

For more information please visit us online at www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife or call 410-260-8540.