Maryland black bear hunt closes after 67 kills in five days

The state Department of Natural Resources says Maryland's bear hunt is closed after 67 kills in five days.

The seventh annual black bear hunting season, which opened Monday in Allegany and Garrett counties, was officially closed at 9 p.m. Friday.

"The 2010 bear hunt was another unqualified success," Harry Spiker, Game Mammal Section Leader for the department's Wildlife and Heritage Service, said in a release. "Unseasonably mild weather made the first part of the season a challenge and kept hunter success low. Despite marginal conditions we safely reached another harvest quota while allowing the first five-day bear hunt in Maryland history."

The average estimated live weight of the bears reported to mandatory check stations was 163 lbs., the department said. The largest bear of the season was a 433 lb. male killed by Joseph Schmidt of Oakland in Garrett County.

Five hundred and fifty-eight hunters participated. Of the 67 kills reported, 57 were in Garrett County and 10 from Allegany County. More than half of the successful hunters were residents of Allegany or Garrett counties.

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