2005 Black Bear Hunt Closed

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proclaimed the 2005 Maryland Black Bear hunt closed effective immediately. DNR also announced the 2005 black bear hunt harvest totals, hours after the state’s second bear hunt since 1953 came to a close.

The hunt commenced Monday, Oct. 24, one half-hour before sunrise in Garrett and Allegany Counties. As the check stations closed at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, 40 bears have been reported to official check stations. The target harvest was 40-55 bears and DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul A. Peditto made the decision Thursday night to close the hunt.

“Our primary goal is to slow the growth of the regional black bear population; this effort is an unqualified success toward that end and secures the future for responsible scientific management of black bears in Maryland,” Peditto said.

The bears taken during the hunt had an estimated average live weight of 190 lbs; exceeding last year’s average weight of 178 lbs. The largest bear, a 379 lb. male, was taken by Danny Teets of McHenry (Garrett County). An unexpected winter storm hit the region on Monday and extended through midweek. Despite the unseasonable conditions, hunter participation remained high through the week.

“The successful and safe outcome of our second modern black bear hunt continues the remarkable wildlife management success story of black bear management in Maryland,” Peditto said.

Black Bear Project Leader, Harry Spiker, added: "Six of the bears harvested were previously handled by DNR and wore ear tags identifying them as chronic nuisance bears in Garrett County. This result demonstrates conclusively that our hunting strategy will achieve the secondary benefit of reducing conflicts between problem bears and Western Maryland residents.”

The hunt by the numbers:
* 40 bears harvested
* 36 from Garrett County, 4 from Allegany,
* 190 lbs. average weight
* 95 % of the bears were taken on private land
* 65 % of harvest by hunters who live in the hunt area
* 3 female hunters harvested a bear
* 3 junior hunters (2 female) successfully harvested a bear
* 368 hunters participated in the hunt and 2,192 hunters applied for a permit