Maryland Black Bear Applications Accepted July 1
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin accepting applications for this year's lottery for black bear hunting permits starting July 1. Successful applicants will receive a permit valid for the black bear hunting season scheduled to take place October 24-29.
"This year's lottery will follow the same successful model we've used for the recent bear hunting seasons, except we are expanding the application period by one month," said Harry Spiker, DNR's Game Mammal Section Leader. "We will continue to use the popular Preference Point System that gives applicants who were unsuccessful in the past an advantage this year."
DNR implemented the Preference Point System in 2007. Hunters who apply will receive one entry in the random drawing as well as one additional entry for each past consecutive year they have applied. For instance, those hunters who applied unsuccessfully in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 will receive five entries in the drawing when they apply this year. The following rules also apply:
Applicants must apply each year to retain preference points. If an applicant skips a year, all preference points will be forfeited.
Once an applicant is selected to receive a bear hunting permit in the random drawing, all preference points will be forfeited.
If an applicant is selected in the random drawing, but forfeits the permit, all preference points will be forfeited.
Applicants will have the opportunity to purchase a preference point. This will allow those hunters who cannot hunt in 2011 the opportunity to retain their preference points for use in future drawings.
DNR will issue 260 bear hunting permits with a quota of 55-80 bears and will close the hunt when the quota is reached. The opportunity to hunt black bears in Maryland remains limited to Garrett and Allegany counties.
"This will be the eighth season since black bear hunting was reestablished as a management tool in Maryland in 2004," said Spiker. "Our data indicates that the black bear population growth rate has slowed in Garrett County since the onset of the program. The bear population continues to increase at a more rapid rate in Allegany County and in areas east of the hunting area."
Online applications for the Maryland Black Bear Lottery will be accepted from 9 a.m. on July 1 until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 2. Phone applications will be accepted at 1-888-579-6768 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on August 22-26 ONLY.
To apply, a $15 nonrefundable application fee must be submitted via credit card, check, or money order. All payments must be received by 12:00 p.m. on Monday. Checks and money orders should be made payable to MDDNR Black Bear and mailed to MDDNR Black Bear, P.O. Box 360, Frostburg, MD 21532.
Only one application per person will be accepted. Duplicate applications will result in disqualification and forfeiture of all fees.
Applicants will again have the option of voluntarily contributing to the Black Bear Damage Reimbursement Fund when they apply for a permit. Donated funds will be used to directly reimburse Maryland farmers who have suffered agricultural damage caused by black bears. The Black Bear Damage Reimbursement Fund was established in 1996 and has paid out more than $100,000 in eligible claims to Maryland farmers. Last year, hunters voluntarily donated $1,820 to the fund.