Cumberland Times-News


July 6, 2014

11th Maryland bear hunt scheduled Oct. 20-23

It is getting to be that time of year when those of us who would like to hunt bears in Maryland start thinking about applying for one of the limited number of permits.

Harry Spiker, who directs the bear program Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service, said some information technology issues are being worked out, but he expects the application period to begin about the first of August.

Check the website at


That limited number of permits will expand this year, with 450 being available. The drawing will take place Sept. 3. A year ago there were 380 permits.

Also new this year is elimination of what I always called Bear School.

Bear School was a requirement for first-time Maryland bear hunters. Those folks had to attend a short class on the day before the opening of bear season. At first it was conducted at Beall High School in Frostburg, and then in Mountain Ridge High School when that facility replaced Beall.

I attended two Bear Schools and thoroughly enjoyed them. Not only did I learn things about bears and bear hunting, but it was fun to mingle with other hunters who were giddy about being afield the following day. It was sort of like a wedding rehearsal party.

Hunters will still receive a very informative bear hunting booklet.

This year, the landowner subpermittee option has been done away with.

Now, a hunter who draws a permit will be allowed to name two other people to hunt along with him or her. Of

for the course, that group may harvest only one bear.

In the past, a permittee could name one hunter and one landowner who could hunt. The landowner could hunt only on his land. A landowner may still be named, of course, but now the landowner could hunt in other locations as well.

Another change ... a permittee and the subpermittees no longer have to maintain visual contact. However, the regulations continue to state that subpermittees may hunt only on days that the permit holder is hunting.

Spiker called the elimination of the visual requirement regulation a common sense move.

“We survey the bear hunters each year and removal of that requirement was the most common request,” Spiker said.

“Hunters are so connected now with cell phones and twoway radios that there is no need to stay within sight of each other.”

Spiker said he grew up hunting before those forms of communication existed.

“If my dad and I were a couple
hundred yards apart, he knew when I shot and I knew when he shot,” he said.

Spiker said Maryland Natural Resources Police officials approved removal of the visual requirement.

“Everybody knows when their buddy shoots,” he said.

Hunters will now be able to legally do a drive for bears, having one hunter walk through some thick habitat where he can’t be seen, hoping to move a bear to his partners.

“And hunters can now cover both sides of a ridge without being in sight of each other,” Spiker pointed out.

During the 10 hunts that have taken place beginning in 2004, the wildlife agency set a harvest quota. Hunters had to check in via phone each night to determine how many bears had been killed and if the hunt was still open the next day.

Now, the hunt will be for four days. However many bears are killed during those four days will be however many bears are killed during those four days.

Text Only
  • Sleep under the stars! Be a game warden!

    July 27, 2014

  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • Very first memories of a very long life

    July 27, 2014

  • FSU Planetarium has new outreach program

    Several years ago, the FSU planetarium acquired an iPad. Months later, we purchased an iPad projector with necessary cables. I purchased a number of astronomical apps this year for the iPad. So I’m interested in visiting schools in this county to teach the stars and planets to classes. The astronomical apps allow you to survey the current evening night sky and show the planets, bright stars and star groups. One of the apps shows the planets close up with wonderful surface detail (as if you were cruising by in a spaceship). The apps I’ll be using can be purchased from the iTunes app store for a few dollars.

    July 27, 2014

  • O’s, Pirates will be buyers, but when?

    Not that we should expect any blockbuster deals to go down as Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, but the names you hear in Baltimore are catcher Kurt Suzuki and starting pitchers Ian Kennedy, A.J. Burnett and Jorge De La Rosa.

    July 27, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    July 27, 2014

  • Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger

    Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014