Black bears are making a resurgence in Western Maryland. As late as the 1970s, they have been considered an endangered species in our state. But their population has since bounced back – so significantly, that the state has sanctioned annual black bear hunts since 2004. Licensed hunts are conducted in Western Maryland’s Garrett and Allegheny Counties to slow the growth of black bears to manageable levels.
During that first hunt, 20 bears were harvested. In 2013, the number was 94. And this year’s black bear hunt starts on Monday. For more on the Maryland bear population, we’re joined by Harry Spiker. He’s the Game Mammal Section Leader at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service.