Maryland Will Accept Black Bear Hunt Apps on Aug. 1

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin accepting applications from hunters to participate in this year's lottery for black bear hunting permits on August 1, 2009. Maryland's black bear hunting season will start October 26, 2009.

"This year's hunt will follow the same successful model we've used for the last five bear hunting seasons," said DNR's Associate Director of Game Management Pete Jayne. "It will remain a quota-driven hunt, with an established quota of 60 to 85 bears. DNR will close the bear hunting season once the quota is reached."

DNR will issue 240 bear hunting permits this year for Garrett and Allegany Counties only. Bear hunting is not permitted in any other Maryland county.

In 2007, DNR implemented a Preference Point System for bear hunting permit applications. Hunters receive one additional entry in the random drawing for each year they have been a concurrent applicant. Therefore, those hunters who applied unsuccessfully in 2007 and 2008 will receive three entries in the drawing when they apply this year.

  • * 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 2009 the opportunity to retain their preference points for use in future drawings without any risk of losing them.

Only one application per person will be accepted, and duplicate applications will result in disqualification and the loss of all fees.

New for 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 $98,000 in eligible claims to Maryland farmers.

Applications for bear hunting permits will be accepted online starting on August 1, 2009, at blackbear.dnr.state.md.us until 11:59 p.m. on September 1. Phone applications will be accepted at 1-888-579-6768 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. from August 24 through August 28, 2009.

A $15 application fee must be submitted by credit card, check or money order by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 2, 2009. Checks and money orders should be made payable to MDDNR Black Bear and mailed to MDDNR Black Bear, P.O. Box 30, Cumberland, MD 21501.

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