Maryland Black Bear Hunt Lottery is Now Open

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting applications to participate in this year's lottery for black bear hunting permits. Applications issued will be valid for this year's black bear hunting season, which will take place October 25 through October 30.

"This year's hunt will follow the same successful model we've used for the previous bear hunting seasons," said Pete Jayne, Associate Director for Game Management for DNR.

The application process will follow the Preference Point System for bear hunting permit applications that DNR implemented in 2007. Hunters who apply this year will receive one entry in the random drawing as well as one additional entry for each past consecutive year they have applied. Therefore, those hunters who applied unsuccessfully in 2007, 2008 and 2009 will receive four 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 2010 the opportunity to retain their preference points for use in future drawings.

DNR will issue 260 bear hunting permits with a quota of 65-90 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.

Online applications for the Maryland Black Bear Lottery will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, September 1 at http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us. Phone applications will be accepted at 1-888-579-6768 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from Monday, August 23 through Friday, August 27 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 p.m. on Thursday, September 2, 2010. 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.

The drawing will take place on Thursday, September 2 and winners will be posted to the application website (http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us)on Friday, September 3.

This year applicants will 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 $1,520 to the fund.

For more information, visit: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/BlackBearGuide.asp.