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Maryland hunters can now enter 2022 black bear hunt lottery

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting applications for the 2022 black bear hunt lottery.

Successful applicants will receive a permit valid for the 6-day hunting season, which for the first time includes a Saturday. The hunt will be open October 24-29 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties.

“The annual bear hunt, now in its 19th year, is an important management tool used to slow the increase of Maryland’s black bear population and limit expansion of Maryland bears into the eastern suburbs and cities,” said DNR officials.

The department will once again issue 950 hunting permits this year.

“Maryland’ s science-based bear hunt remains well-regulated and sustainable,”

Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Allowing hunters to make use of one of the state’s greatest renewable natural resources helps us achieve our goal of limiting the increase in our bear population, while guaranteeing a secure future for this species in Maryland.”

A Maryland black bear lurking in the woods.                                                 photo by Bob Geary

Hunters may apply for the lottery online or at one of more than 250 hunting and fishing license agents across the state. Hunters need a valid DNR ID number to participate.

All entries must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31 and must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee. Only one application per person will be accepted; submitting duplicates can result in disqualification and forfeiture. The drawing will be held September 7, and winners will be notified shortly thereafter.

When applying for a permit, hunters can make voluntary contributions to the Black Bear Damage Reimbursement Fund, which directly reimburses Maryland farmers who have suffered agricultural damage caused by black bears.

The fund has paid farmers more than $130,000 since its establishment in 1996.