Maryland Black Bear Deadline 6:00 p.m. TODAY

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On August 25, 2008, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources began accepting applications from hunters wishing to participate in this year's black bear hunting permit lottery.

Harry Spiker, DNR Game Mammal Section Leader reminds that "hunters must apply each year to retain their preference points in the lottery. Preference points increase your odds of being selected in future lotteries. Beginning this year, hunters may opt to purchase a preference point only. This will allow those who cannot hunt in 2008, the opportunity to retain their preference points for use in future lotteries."

Hunters may continue to apply online 24 hours a day through 6:00 p.m. on September 1, 2008 at http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us

A $15 application fee must be submitted via credit card, check, or money order by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 and should be made payable to MDDNR Black Bear and mailed to MDDNR Black Bear, P.O. Box 30, Cumberland, MD 21501. Only one application per person will be accepted. Duplicate applications will result in disqualification and the loss of all fees.

In order to allow all interested parties an equal opportunity to participate, permits will be awarded by a random selection process which will be held on Thursday, September 4. A list of winning applicants will be available online at http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us starting 5 p.m. on Friday, September 5, 2008. Maryland's black bear hunting season begins October 20, 2008 in Garrett and Allegany Counties.

For more info, please visit: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/bbregs.asp.