Guide to Black Bear Hunting in Maryland

Bear Hunters' Guide to Hunting Black Bears in Maryland 2014

Black Bear Hunting Regulations

Bear Hunting

NEW for 2014: DNR has eliminated the quota system. The 2014 bear hunting season will run from October 20th through October 23rd. Bear hunters will NOT be required to call a hotline daily to determine whether the hunt will remain open. DNR’s objective for the 2014 bear hunting season is to continue hunting bears in an effort to slow the growth of Maryland’s black bear population in western Maryland.

Who May Hunt

Only holders of a bear hunting permit and their designated subpermittees may hunt black bear. In addition to the 2014 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 2014 Maryland Bear Hunting Permit

  • 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 Wednesday, September 3, 2014 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 up to 2 sub-permittees who will be allowed to participate in every aspect of the hunt. NEW for 2014: There is no longer a ‘Landowner Subpermittee’ designation. Instead, permittees may designate any 2 hunters as subpermittees. 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.

    Contact Between Hunters

    New for 2014: Permittees and subpermittees are no longer required to maintain visual contact with one another while hunting black bears. No more than one bear may be harvested by a permittee/subpermittee team of hunters.

    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.