The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for the 2023 black bear hunt lottery. Successful applicants will receive a permit valid for the 6-day hunting season open October 23-28 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties.
The annual bear hunt, now in its 20th year, is an important management tool used to slow the increase of Maryland’s black bear population and limit the expansion of Maryland bears into the eastern suburbs and cities. The department will once again issue 950 hunting permits this year.
“Maryland is home to a healthy black bear population that is managed with sound science,” said Wildlife and Heritage Service Acting Director Karina Stonesifer. “The yearly hunt is an important part of how we maintain the bear population to ensure the species is there for future generations.”
Hunters may apply for the lottery online or at one of more than 250 hunting and fishing license agents across the state. Hunters need a valid DNR ID number to participate.
All entries must be completed by 11:59 PM August 31 and must be accompanied by a $15 nonrefundable application fee. Only one application per person will be accepted – submitting duplicates can result in disqualification and forfeiture. The drawing will be held on September 6, and winners will be notified shortly thereafter.
When applying for a permit, hunters can make voluntary contributions to the Black Bear Damage Reimbursement Fund, which directly reimburses Maryland farmers who have suffered agricultural damage caused by black bears. The fund has paid farmers more than $130,000 since its establishment in 1996.