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Maryland Black Bear Population Rises, As Will Hunting Limits

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Blackears are becoming a more common sight in Maryland over the last several years.
Pat Gaines: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33403047@N00/4642789548/
Blackears are becoming a more common sight in Maryland over the last several years.

Maryland's black bear population has more than doubled since 2005, and hunting rules are being adjusted accordingly.

Wildlife biologist Harry Spiker says a population study done last year indicates at least 782 bears live in Garrett and Allegany counties, the only counties in which bear hunting is allowed. That's up from 362 in a 2005 population study.

Spiker says at least 100 more bears live in Washington and Frederick counties. He says hunters will be allowed to kill 80 to 110 bears this October. Last year, they killed 65 before the Department of National Resources closed the season.

Spiker says the number of permits awarded by lottery will increase to 340 from 260. Up to three hunters can hunt on one permit.

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