It’s about that time of year when Maryland’s black bears go from being predators to prey.
On August 2, Maryland Department of Natural Resources began accepting applications from hunters who hope to shoot a bear in the season opening October 25.
Two-hundred and sixty hunters will be picked by lottery from an expected 3,600 applicants (based on last year’s figures). Garrett and Allegany counties will have 65 to 90 fewer bears when the season ends October 30 — or earlier, if shooting is good. This year’s quota is up five bears from last year’s, meaning the species continues to hold its own.
About 500 to 600 bears are estimated to live in Maryland’s two hunt counties, Garrett and Allegany, with more in Washington and Frederick. Those four western counties are the black bears’ Maryland stronghold, though juveniles learning their way around may check out Carroll, Baltimore and even Montgomery county.