Guide to Black Bear Hunting in Maryland

Bear Hunters' Guide to Hunting Black Bears in Maryland 2013

Black Bear Hunting Regulations

Bear Hunting

DNR’s objective for the 2013 bear hunting season is to continue hunting bears in an effort to slow the growth of Maryland’s black bear population in western Maryland. The 2013 bear hunting season dates are October 21 – October 26, 2013 (dependent upon quota). DNR will issue 380 bear hunting permits with a quota of 95 to 130 bears and will close out hunting when the quota is reached.

Who May Hunt

Only holders of a bear hunting permit and their designated subpermittees may hunt black bear. In addition to the 2013 bear hunting permit, all hunters must also possess the appropriate regular Maryland hunting license.

Hunting Hours

One half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.

Area Open to Bear Hunting

All of Garrett and Allegany counties.

Map of Bear Hunt Area


Application Process for the 2013 Maryland Bear Hunting Permit

  • The 2013 Maryland Black Bear Lottery application process will not start on July 1 as originally advertised. We are currently working on the process for this year and will be announcing the outcome soon. If you have been a previous participant in the lottery, you will receive an email regarding the Lottery process and timing. If you have not participated in the Maryland Black Bear Lottery, but want to this year, please email using “Black Bear Lottery” in the Subject field and we will send you an email when the process is finalized. Thank you for your interest in the Maryland Black Bear Lottery!
  • To apply, each applicant must pay a $15 nonrefundable application fee and may only enter once. Applicants must possess a valid Hunter Safety Certificate or have held a hunting license prior to July 1, 1977 or hunted on private property prior to July 1, 1977 to apply.  The drawing will be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 and all successful applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.
  • In 2007 DNR implemented a Preference Point System for bear hunting permit applicants. Preference points provide additional entries in future drawings. Applicants receive one additional entry in the random drawing for each year they have been a concurrent applicant.
  • Applicants must apply each year to retain preference points. If an applicant skips a year, all preference points will be forfeited.
  • Once an applicant is selected to receive a bear hunting permit in the random drawing, all preference points will be forfeited.
  • If an applicant is selected in the random drawing, but forfeits the permit, all preference points will be forfeited.
  • Applicants will not forfeit preference points by participating in the hunt as a Subpermittee or Landowner Subpermittee.
  • Bear Hunting Permits will be valid anywhere in the designated bear hunting area. Each successful applicant may designate 1 sub-permittee who will be allowed to participate in every aspect of the hunt. If hunting on private land, the permittee may designate the landowner as an additional ‘landowner’ subpermittee who will be restricted to hunting on his/her own land. Only 1 black bear may be harvested by a permittee/subpermittee hunting team.
  • Legal Hunting Devices

    Only those hunting devices that are legal for deer hunting are legal for bear hunting. Firearms, Bow & Falconry Regulations.

    Bear Tagging and Checking Requirements

  • All successful hunters are required to tag and check their bear as follows:
  • A hunter killing a black bear shall attach the black bear field tag to the carcass of the black bear before removing the carcass from the place of the kill.
  • All black bears must be field dressed at the kill site. Proof of sex shall remain attached to the bear carcass.
  • A black bear may be quartered or separated into pieces to facilitate retrieval. However, the head and hide shall remain attached to each other and proof of sex shall remain attached to one hindquarter.
  • A hunter killing a black bear must report to an official designated black bear checking station with the entire carcass of the black bear by 8 PM of the day of kill. Once the hunter takes the bear to a checking station, the tag previously attached on the carcass will be exchanged for an official black bear possession tag provided by the Wildlife and Heritage Service (WHS) and securely attached to the carcass.
  • If a hunter kills a bear and cannot reach a designated black bear checking station by 8 PM of the day of kill, the hunter must contact the WHS at 301-334-4255 by 8 PM on the day of the kill to report the kill. The hunter shall then have 24 hours to report with the black bear carcass to a designated black bear checking station.
  • All successful black bear hunters shall forfeit any biological data or specimens that WHS considers necessary to properly manage this species.
  • Fluorescent Orange

    All bear hunters and anyone assisting a bear hunter are required to wear fluorescent orange.


    A subpermittee may hunt black bears only when the permittee is hunting black bears. Landowner subpermittee permits are valid only on the landowner’s property. Landowner subpermittees cannot hunt their property without the permittee being present on the landowner’s property at the time of the hunt.

    Contact Between Hunters

    A permittee and any subpermittee shall maintain visual contact with one another while hunting black bears. The use of audio enhancement devices such as radios or cell phones are not considered visual contact.

    Hunter Assistance

    A person that assists with the removal of a dead bear or escorts hunters into or out of a bear hunting area is not required to possess a Bear Hunting Permit. However, they must be unarmed and wear fluorescent orange.

    Bears in Dens

    Hunters may not chase or disturb any bear that has taken refuge in a den.

    Use of Dogs

    The use of dogs for hunting black bears is prohibited, except under the following circumstances:

  • If a hunter has killed, wounded, or injured a black bear, they may use a dog and dog handler, to recover the bear.
  • Only the bear hunter may carry a firearm, bow, or crossbow of any description while tracking a bear.
  • The hunter may kill a wounded or injured black bear only if done in accordance with the laws, regulations, or other conditions for black bear hunting. The black bear shall count toward the bag limit or quota of the hunter who first killed, wounded, or injured the black bear.
  • Before tracking a black bear with a dog, the hunter shall notify, by telephone, the Natural Resources Police (1-800-628-9944).
    The hunter shall provide information as to:
  • Where the bear was killed, wounded, or injured;
  • The name, address, telephone number, and hunting license number of the hunter and dog handler;
  • The general location of the dead, wounded, or injured bear; and
  • The name of the landowner where the search will be conducted.
  • The dog handler shall maintain physical control of the leashed tracking dog at all times while conducting the search.
  • The hunter shall obtain permission of the landowner or land manager before tracking a black bear with dogs.
  • Baiting/Attracting Bears

    The use of any bait, scent attractants or electronic calls is prohibited for black bear hunting. Bear hunters are reminded that the use of any bait or scent attractants is prohibited and any potential bait must be removed at least ten days prior to bear hunting.

    Sale of Bear Parts

    Hunters may not sell parts of any bear that has been killed in Maryland.

    Bear Hunting Season Closure

    DNR will issue 380 bear hunting permits for the 2013 bear hunting season.

    DNR has established a quota of 95 to 130 bears for the 2013 hunting season.

    Once the harvest objective (quota) is reached, WHS will close the season. After the season closure, it will be illegal for any person who possesses a bear hunting permit to further hunt bears.

    Pre-Hunt Meeting

    Only those successful applicants who have never attended a pre-hunt meeting are required to attend one in 2013. Pre-hunt meeting attendance is optional for those successful applicants who have attended in the past. The date, time, and location of the pre-hunt meeting will be mailed to successful applicants with their permit package.