The hunt is scheduled to last until Saturday, but will be stopped early if the harvest quota of 55 to 80 bears is reached before then, according to state gaming officials.
This year, 260 black bear hunting permits were awarded. Each hunter can go out with a partner, but they can only snare one animal between them.
“For a hunter to take a wild black bear is a true achievement,” according to the state’s hunting guide. The challenge, according to the guide, stems from the bears’ being “a master of their environment ... moving through their surroundings with incomparable caution.”
There was a moratorium on bear hunting in Maryland for 50 years before the practice recommenced in 2004.
This year’s is the eighth hunting season since the moratorium was lifted. More than 340 bears have been killed in the seven hunts since 2004.
Coinciding with the end of the bear hunt, Saturday marks the start of wild turkey hunting season in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties. The turkey hunt will be open until Nov. 5.