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Black Bear Hunt 2020 Concludes in Western Maryland

117 Bears Harvested in Four Counties

Photo of bear in woods

Photo by Bob Geary

Hunters harvested 117 black bears despite challenging conditions during Maryland’s 17th annual black bear hunt. Official results have been compiled and reported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources following the five-day hunt held Oct. 26-30 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties.

The largest bear taken weighed 537 pounds and was harvested in Frederick County by Wayne Harley of Taneytown. The average weight of harvested bears was 155 pounds. 

Natural food shortages in the mountains of Western Maryland coupled with wet, windy weather conditions contributed to the challenges faced by bear hunters this year.

“We are pleased with another successful bear hunt and view it as further evidence the department is managing the state’s black bear population sustainably and effectively,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “With such an expanding and healthy bear population throughout western Maryland, this hunt is an essential management tool.”

2020 Maryland Black Bear Hunt by the Numbers:

  • 117 black bears were harvested: 23 from Allegany County, 3 from Frederick County, 83 from Garrett County, and 8 from Washington County
  • 155 pounds is the average weight of bears harvested
  • 74% of bears were taken on private land
  • 5,716 hunters applied for a permit
  • 950 permits were awarded
  • 2,643 hunters participated

More information about black bear management in Maryland is available on the department’s website