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Outdoors

Black bear season is quickly approaching

Black bear season is quickly approaching

July 16, 2006|by BILL ANDERSON

With the beginning of the fall hunting seasons now only a few weeks away, if you are at all interested in applying for a black bear permit, the time is fast approaching.

The dates for the bear season this fall are Oct. 23-28 and Dec. 4-9. It's not likely the days in December will be needed. The season is more likely to be closed after a day or two.

A change for this fall is that the bear season will be open in all of Garrett and Allegany counties. This is a change from previous seasons, when the open area included only part of Allegany County.

As in past seasons, applications for a permit can be made via the Web site http://blackbear.dnr.state.md.us or by phone. Applications for the bear hunting permits will be accepted online from Aug. 1 through Sept. 1.

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You may also apply via phone from Aug. 28 through Sept. 1 by calling 1-888-579-6768 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Applicants will be required to pay a $15 non-refundable application fee. Applicants must possess a valid hunter safety certificate or have held a hunting license prior to July 1, 1977, or hunted on private property prior to July 1, 1977, to apply.

The DNR plans to conduct the random drawing for permits on Sept. 1, with successful applicants notified shortly thereafter.

There are a few other factors hunters should note with regard to bear hunting in Maryland.

The DNR will determine a harvest quota for the season and will close the season when the quota is reached or nearly reached. They will do everything possible to avoid exceeding the quota and alarming the anti-hunting groups.

All bear hunters will be required to check in with a recorded message each day after 9 p.m. to determine if the harvest hunt quota has been met and the bear hunt has been cancelled for the remainder of the season.

The other point of note for successful applicants is that the DNR will hold two pre-hunt meetings on bear hunting. If you draw a permit, you will be required to attend one of the meetings.

If you are lucky enough to draw a Maryland bear tag, your chances of getting a bear are very good. Just like the lottery, you gotta play to win.

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