Favorable weather conditions and increased hunting opportunities in western Maryland enabled hunters to achieve a record harvest in the 2016 Maryland black bear hunt as the season came to a close Oct. 27 with a record 167 bears reported to mandatory check-in stations.
The harvest total is 72 more than the previous record set in 2015 (95 bears). John Kennedy of Flintstone took the largest bear of the 2016 hunting season, a 559-pound male.
“We are thrilled with another record hunting season and view it as further evidence that the department is managing the black bear population effectively,” said Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto. “With such a healthy bear population throughout western Maryland, this hunt is an essential tool used to slow the growth of the expanding bear population.”
New this year hunters were allowed to hunt bears in all four western Maryland counties: Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington.
With over an hour of shooting light remaining, the big bear slowly started to lumber up the ATV trail toward the bait barrel that was strategically positioned twelve yards from my tree stand. A smaller bear had been entertaining me for the last couple of Continue reading Bowhunt for Bruins→
Hunters who want to experience a real Wisconsin black bear hunt with skilled mentors have until May 27 to apply to participate in a Learn to Hunt Bear program featuring classroom and field instruction and capped with a genuine hunt.
Keith Warnke, Department of Natural Resources hunting and shooting sports coordinator, says the Learn to Hunt Bear program represents an opportunity of a lifetime for novice hunters of any age.
“Working in partnership with many dedicated bear hunters and local conservation organizations, wardens and wildlife managers, successful Learn to Hunt Bear events have been held across northern Wisconsin during the last several years,” Warnke said. “The long-term success rate of harvesting a bear through the LTH program is around 50 percent.”
Participation in the DNR Learn to Hunt Bear program is limited. Applications will be evaluated and the winners will be notified in mid-June. Documents and applications for the Learn to Hunt Bear program can be found by searching the DNR website for “LTH.”
The program is intended for people who would not have any opportunity to experience bear hunting without it. Anyone who is age 10 and older who has not participated in a Learn to Hunt Bear event and anyone who has not previously purchased a Class A or Class B bear license, or applied for preference points can apply.
However, Warnke says, applicants with a connection to bear hunting through family and friends will be given lower priority in the selection process. Applications can be found on the DNR website, http://www.dnr.wi.gov, by searching for “learn to hunt bear” and must be postmarked by May 27.