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Maryland Black Bear Lottery Opens

Black BearThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently accepting applications for this year’s lottery for black bear hunting permits. Successful applicants will receive a permit valid for the black bear hunting season scheduled to take place October 21-26.

The lottery will be operated through DNR’s licensing and customer service platform, COMPASS. Interested persons may apply in one of the following ways: online through COMPASS; by phone at 1-855-855-3906 (weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.); by visiting a DNR Service Center; or at one of more than 250 Sport License Agents across the State. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on August 31 and accompanied by a $15 nonrefundable application fee. Only one application per person will be accepted. Duplicate submissions will result in disqualification and forfeiture of all fees. ***All applicants please note: Your DNR ID number will be your lottery number and each year you will retain the same number.***

DNR will issue 380 hunting permits with a quota of 95-130 bears and close the hunt when this range is reached. The opportunity to hunt them in Maryland remains limited to Garrett and Allegany counties. The quota is based on the estimated black bear population in these counties. An extensive population survey was conducted in 2011 to better assess the bear population and to improve DNR’s understanding of the growth rate for Maryland’s bear population.

To ensure that those who had never received a permit would have better odds, DNR implemented a Preference Point System in 2007. Hunters who apply will receive one entry in the random drawing as well as one additional entry for each past consecutive year they applied but were unsuccessful.

All preference points will be forfeited if an applicant: skips a year applying; is selected to receive a bear-hunting permit in the random drawing; or is selected in the random drawing but forfeits the permit. Applicants will have the opportunity to purchase a preference point, allowing those hunters who cannot hunt in 2013 to retain their points for use in future drawings. Each applicant has the option of choosing up to two other individuals to join them in the hunt. These individuals, known as sub-permittees, may be landowners or non-landowners but in no circumstances may the entire party take more than one bear.

Hunters will again 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 fund was established in 1996 and has paid out more than $100,000 in eligible claims to Maryland farmers.

For more information, visit the 2013 Black Bear Hunt Guide or follow @MDBlackBear on Twitter.

You can also find information on the DNR Wildlife & Heritage Facebook page or follow @MDDNRWildlife on Twitter

  • kking

    On behalf of DNR Wildlife & Heritage:
    ***All applicants please note: Your DNR ID number will be your lottery number and each year you will retain the same number.***

  • Edwin Brannan

    When and how will we know when the drawing will take place. What date?..Will we be notified by mail or e-mail

    • kking

      Dear Mr. Brannan,

      The Black Bear Lottery winners are notified two ways. The winning numbers will be posted on the page. In addition, the winners will receive an email notification. Thank you for applying for a Black Bear Lottery permit.

      Christina Jarvis
      Black Bear Lottery Coordinator

  • justin

    If selected in the drawing for the bear hunt do i have to find a place to hunt on private land ,public land or does DNR have land set aside as they do for deer hunts?

    • kking

      Hi Justin,
      It’s up to the hunter to find a place to hunt (public or private). Some hunters and landowners have utilized local newspapers to put ads in looking for private property to hunt or bear hunters who would pay to hunt. You can also call Harry Spiker, at (301)334-4255, who may be able to match you up with a private landowner that has had bear damage & would welcome a hunter.

      Thank you for your comment.
      Clarissa Harris
      Wildlife & Heritage Service

  • Taryn

    When will the lottery winners be picked and posted? I thought that I read somewhere that it would be today, the 3rd of September…but I have not seen anything posted yet!

    Please advise….

  • Greg

    Where are the bear lottery nu,mbers posted

  • D Sears

    I see the drawing was supposed to happen on the 3rd any idea when the email will go out or the results post online




  • OHMY! please send me an email if you happen to run another black bear lottery by the end of the year. Thank you.