Update: As of October 28, the total bear harvest is 86 bears (33 males, 53 females). The county breakdown is Garrett with 60, Allegany at 15, Washington checking in 7 and Frederick with 4. The largest bear of the season was harvested Friday, October 28, a male with an estimated live weight of 427 lbs.
Black Bear hunting season is open for six days beginning Monday, October 24, 2022 through Saturday, October 29, 2022. Designated as a “Maryland” season, the black bear hunting zone is only available in Western Maryland ie- Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. The goal of the hunt is to slow the growth of western Maryland’s growing black bear population.
Only one black bear may be harvested by a permittee/sub-permittee hunting team.
The following are the Garrett County public lands where hunting is allowed:
Deep Creek Lake State Park
Deep Creek Lake State Park has a 1,200 acre hunting area. The rugged terrain, mature forests, upland bogs, and dense cover offer excellent bear hunting opportunities. Hunting is permitted in the park’s backcountry areas. The managed hunting areas are posted. For more information call 301-387-5563.
Mt. Nebo Wildlife Management Area
Cunningham Swamp Wildlife Management Area
For more information about Garrett County Wildlife Management Areas, please call 301-334-4255.
Potomac-Garrett State Forest
Savage River State Forest
Savage River State Forest, at over 54,000 acres, is the largest property in the state forest system and preserves a strategic watershed in Garrett County. Many roads are open to vehicles and several hiking trails offer access to this giant tract of property. The forest is classified as a mixed hardwood forest and more than 11,000 acres of it has been designated as wildland. For information about Savage River State Forest contact the forest office at 301-895-5759.
Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River
The Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River corridor, also known as the Youghiogheny Natural Environmental Area (NEA), is located in western Garrett County and contains 1,200 acres of property that may be hunted. The terrain can be rugged and access points are limited, but there is excellent bear habitat along this river corridor. For more information about accessing this area, please call Deep Creek Lake State Park at 301-387-5563.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources shared an overview of the black bear hunt since 2004 (after a 51-year hiatus). In 2004, 20 black bears were checked in on the opening day of the hunting season. In 2021, 950 hunting permits were issued and hunters, challenged by a notable increase in natural food availability, harvested 54 bears during the season.