Hunters return to the check-in station at Mount Nebo Wildlife Management Area in Oakland, Md., in 2004 with the first and second bears killed in the first black bear hunt in the state since 1953. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Today is not a good day for Maryland black bears. The Associated Press reports:

Maryland’s black bear hunting season is opening with an expanded kill quota and more hunters to help manage the growing population.

The season opens Monday, with hunting restricted to the two westernmost counties, Allegany and Garrett.

The season will end Saturday or sooner, depending on how quickly hunters reach the Department of Natural Resources’ quota of 80 to 110 bears. Last year, the agency let hunters kill 65 bears.

Last year’s amount of hunters: 780. This year’s: More than 1,000.

The AP says the bear population has more than doubled in the hunting zone in recent years.

Here are some facts on Maryland’s bears that I reported last year. (My favorite: You can’t hunt bears on Sundays.)

Here are a couple comments from last year’s hunters, as recorded by the state’s bear hunt Web site:

* “I would not change anything, had a great time and 3 days with my son, and no work. Saw one bear the first day coming out for lunch, he disappeared real fast. Some rain last day but that’s hunting.”

* “I actually passed on a cub that was 25 yrds from my tree stand. I had my cross hairs on him but morally couldn’t pull the trigger. It was early in the day and was hoping to come across a larger bear.”

And finally, here is the black bear hunt Twitter account, presumably not maintained by the bears, who have bigger fish to fry this week.