Michael A. Sawyers
MOUNT NEBO — The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service will increase the number of bear hunting permits this year, boosting that tally to 450.
There were 380 permits for the 2013 hunt.
“The bear population continues to grow and we feel that is a very safe number of permits,” said Harry Spiker, bear project leader.
This announcement by Spiker on Wednesday finalizes the changes that will be in place for the 2014 hunt, the 11th since a season was resumed in 2004 after an absence of half a century.
During the first 10 hunts, the agency established a harvest quota and closed the season once that number was reached.
From now on, the hunt will be a four-day affair. This year the dates are Oct. 20-23 and the hunt takes place only in Garrett and Allegany counties.
Also this year, a hunter who is successful in drawing a bear permit will be allowed to name two other hunters to accompany him. The group may kill only one bear.
No longer does a team of hunters need to stay in visual contact of each other.
Spiker said hunters should check the Department of Natural Resources web site in early August for application details.
In 2013, there were 94 bears harvested. More than 3,500 hunters applied for the 380 available permits.
There will continue to be a $15 nonrefundable application fee. Residents of Allegany and Garrett counties have an advantage in the drawing. The first 25 percent of the permits go to hunters who live within the bear hunting zone.
Contact Michael A. Sawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.