Robert Marks and his bear from Maryland's 2018 hunt

Robert Marks and the 575-pound bear he harvested from Washington County in Maryland's 2018 bear hunt. (CTN file photo)

CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources on Monday announced the 2019 black bear hunt lottery results.

The department issued 800 hunting permits for this year’s five-day hunt that will take place in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties from Oct. 21-25.

“We got 5,204 applications that came from all across Maryland,” said Harry Spiker, game mammal section leader for DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service, via email. “Several states were represented in the application pool.”

Last year, the department received 5,491 applications for a permit and 2,059 hunters participated in the season that led to the harvest of 135 black bears including 31 from Allegany, two from Frederick, 93 from Garrett and nine from Washington counties.

The hunt is in its 16th year.

As in previous seasons, only one black bear may be harvested this year by a permittee/sub-permittee hunting team.

Permittees and sub-permittees are not required to maintain visual contact with one another while hunting black bears.

New this year:

• The quota system is no longer used to manage the hunt.

• Hunters will not be required to call a hotline every evening to determine the status of the hunt.

• Sub-permittees may hunt black bears regardless of whether the permittee is actively hunting.

• DNR no longer conducts a pre-hunt meeting prior to the bear hunting season.

Hunters are urged to study the Bear Hunter’s Guide to Hunting Black Bears in Maryland, which provides information including bear hunting regulations, biology and techniques.​

The Black Bear Damage Reimbursement Fund is open for voluntary contributions by hunters when they apply for their permits. The fund directly reimburses Maryland farmers who have suffered agricultural damage caused by black bears. Since the fund was started over 20 years ago, it has paid out more than $130,000 in eligible claims.

Learn more at http://dnr.maryland.gov/huntersguide/Pages/BlackBearHunt.aspx.

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at tmcminn@times-news.com, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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