As the black bear population continues to grow in the state of Maryland, regulators are increasing hunting opportunities in tandem with booming bear numbers.

Originally reserved for the mountains in the western portion of the state, black bear hunts were only legal in two counties in Maryland, Garrett County and Allegany County.  As the population and range of the black bears expand, both Washington and Frederick counties will be offer hunting opportunities starting this fall.

“We have reproducing populations of bears there, and our limited highly managed hunt will ensure that the bear population continues to grow, but will slow the growth in those two counties” says Paul Peditto, of the DNR Wildlife Heritage Service.

There are an estimated 1,000 bears in the western portion of the state and biologists are recording fantastic breeding results in which each sow is averaging about three cubs per year.  The goal with the expanded hunting season is obviously not to wipe out the bears, but to effectively manage the population through hunting.

The season is set to run for just four days kicking off on October 24, 2016, with a limited number of tags available.


H/T: CBS Baltimore