Michael A. Sawyers
MOUNT NEBO — Although the 94 bears checked in during Maryland’s recent bruin hunt came up just short of the projected harvest range of 95-130 animals, a record kill took place.
The 2013 harvest topped the 92 taken in 2012.
Another mark was set as well. This is the first year the hunt has lasted through the entire six days set aside for it.
As usual, the best harvest day was on Monday, Oct. 21, the initial day of the season, when 41 bears were checked in. There were 23 bears taken on Tuesday, 11 on Wednesday, three on Thursday, five on Friday and 11 on Saturday.
The average live weight of the bears was 142 pounds. Mark Martin, Oakland, checked in the largest bear, a 392-pound male.
Seventy of the bears came from Garrett County and 24 from Allegany County. Private lands accounted for 70 percent of the harvest.
Of the 94 successful hunters, 10 were females, according to Harry Spiker of the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service.
Eighty-five of the bears fell to centerfire rifles, with the .30-06 continuning to be the most popular and successful caliber.
Four bears were killed by crossbows, two by muzzleloaders and three via shotguns.
Four bears weighed more than 300 pounds.
There were nine bear weighing 201 to 300 pounds, 52 between 101 and 200 pounds and 29 bears less than 100 pounds.
“What really thrills me is the 24 Allegany County bears,” Spiker said.
“We’ve never had more than 10 there in a single year before. This is something we’ve worked to inform hunters about. The Allegany bears came from Dan’s Mountain, Green Ridge, Wills Mountain Warrior Mountain and Westernport.”
This was Maryland’s 10th bear hunt since the season returned in 2004 after an absence of 51 years.
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.