March 22, 2023

Maryland Bear Population Doubles in Seven Years

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As their numbers continued to increase, it was clear the next challenge would be to keep the population in check.

It was with this in mind that, in 2004, with the black bear population at 500, Maryland approved a two-day hunt. The first one in 51 years, it had a target quota of 30 bears. The move was strongly opposed by animal rights groups, which warned that the bear population might go into decline again. But well fed and well hidden among the hardwoods, the bears have only increased. Organized opposition to the hunt declined accordingly.

It is a matter of balancing bear fecundity and bear mortality, and so far it has worked. From 2004 to 2011, the year of the most recent count by the DNR, the bear population doubled, from 500 to 1,000.<<<Read More>>>