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Second black bear hunt nets 40

October 31, 2005|by BILL ANDERSON

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources closed the second black bear hunt Thursday night and is declaring the hunt an unqualified success. A total of 40 black bears were taken.

The hunt began Monday in Garrett and Allegany counties. DNR officials said that hunter participation was very good, despite some bad weather in Western Maryland.

DNR officials were looking for a harvest of 40-55 bears. As the check stations closed at 8 p.m. Thursday, a total of 40 bears had been recorded and the decision was made to end the season.

One important fact was that six of the bears taken were tagged with ear tags showing them to be chronic nuisance bears. The DNR says that this shows that hunting will also have the benefit of reducing conflicts between problem bears and residents.

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The average weight of bears checked was 190 pounds - up from 178 last season - and the largest bear was a 379-pound male.

Thirty-six of the 40 bears taken in Garrett County and 95 percent of the bears were taken on private land.

Three female hunters made a kill. Two of the three females were junior hunters.

In all, 368 of the 2,192 hunters who applied for a permit participated in the hunt.

The Maryland DNR and Gov. Robert Ehrlich deserve a lot of credit for going forward with a limited black bear season despite the loud, but un-informed, political pressure from the anti-hunting groups. This second season should prove to any reasonable person that a limited hunting season will have a number of benefits that ultimately will help the black bear become even better established in Maryland.




Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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