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.
Statistics from the 2016 Maryland Black Bear Hunt:
167 bears reported
30 from Allegany County
3 from Frederick County
126 from Garrett County
8 from Washington County
142 pounds average weight of the bears
58 percent of the bears were taken on private land
5,547 hunters applied for a hunting permit
1,708 hunters participated in the hunt