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Maryland bear hunting season closes after four days

October 30, 2009 | 11:47 am

The Maryland black bear-hunting season opened Monday and ended yesterday after an acceptable quota was reached on Day 4 of the six-day season.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the conclusion of the season in the western counties of Garrett and Allegany, with 68 bears reported at mandatory check stations. The quota target was 60 to 85.

"The 2009 bear hunt was an unqualified success," Harry Spiker, the department's Wildlife & Heritage Service leader, said in a news release. "The hunt remains a safe, effective, well-regulated and scientifically sound tool for sustainably managing our bear population."

With the season closed, it will be illegal for any person who possesses a bear-hunting permit to further hunt the mammals. Also, hunters may not sell parts of any bear that has been killed in Maryland.

I was a bit surprised at the short season until I learned that four days is average in Maryland. The inaugural bear-hunting season in 2004 (the first in 51 years) was closed at the end of the first day to avoid exceeding the harvest quota.

In comparison, the California bear-hunting season opened in early August and runs through the last Sunday in December or when the quota of 1,700 bears are reported taken.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A black bear peers through branches. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service