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Fall black bear season is quickly approaching

OUTDOORS --

July 27, 2008|By BILL ANDERSON

The time for filing an application to participate in Maryland's black bear hunt this fall is almost here.

The dates for the bear season, which is open in Garrett and Allegany counties, are Oct. 20 to 25. Based on past season results, the season is more likely to end before Oct. 25 when the management objective of 55-75 bears is met. In past seasons, there was an additional late segment slated for December, but those dates were never needed.

Applications for a bear hunting permit will be accepted online at www.blackbear.dnr.state.md.us until Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. Applications also will be accepted Aug. 25 to 29 by calling 1-888-579-6768 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., or by mailing a $15 application fee via credit card, check, or money order to MDDNR Black Bear, P.O. Box 30, Cumberland, MD 21501. Checks and money orders should be made payable to MDDNR Black Bear and must be received by Sept. 3.

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A total of 200 permits will be issued, and the DNR plans to conduct the random drawing for permits in September. Winning applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

There also was a change in Maryland bear permits last year involving preference points for those who are unsuccessful, which would reward those who apply year after year by giving them preference points to improve their odds of drawing a permit.

Hunters who applied last year but did not receive a bear hunting permit will be given an additional entry in this year's lottery. This preference point system will continue to provide additional entries in future permit drawings for each consecutive year an person applies. Hunters must apply each year to retain preference points. If an applicant skips a year or is awarded a permit, all preference points are erased.

Applicants also may purchase a preference point. This will allow those hunters who cannot hunt in 2008 the opportunity to retain their preference points for use in future drawings.

For complete information on the black bear season and application process, visit www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide/BlackBearHunt.asp

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