Will Black Bear Hunting Resume Under New Maryland Governor?

One of the results of Republican Robert Ehrlich’s victory in the Maryland Governor’s race this month may be a return of bear hunting in that state.

In the mid-1950s the number of black bears in Maryland had dropped to an estimated 12 and bear hunting was banned. The population of black bears has recovered to about somewhere between 266 and 437 bears, and hunters and wildlife management officials have pressed for a return to a black bear trophy hunting season to keep the number of bears manageable and reduce human/bear contacts.

Outgoing Democratic Governor Paris Glendenning was openly hostile to hunting issues, but during the election Ehrlich said that he would like sign a bill creating a limited black bear hunting season.

Animal rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Protection Institute are already urging their members to contact Maryland officials to oppose any renewal of a bear hunting season as well as to coordinate a campaign against any such renewal.


Under Ehrlich’s leadership, Maryland certain to change course. Larry Evans, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA), November 22, 2002.

Draft Black Bear Task Force (BBTF) Report and Recommendations to The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) November 4, 2002.

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