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Western Maryland Hunters & Black Bears

Western Maryland (Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties) is home to a healthy black bear population. Accordingly, hunters may find themselves encountering black bears, especially in and around natural or artificial food sources, such as bait piles. Although black bears are generally shy animals and run when confronted by people, they may try to protect a food source. Black bears are wild animals that should be treated with respect. If approached by a bear while hunting, DNR recommends that you make your presence known to the bear. Make noise, remain upright, and don’t run.

For people wishing to carry a form of personal protection, DNR recommends the use of Bear Pepper Spray as a safe, legal, and effective bear deterrent. It has a long shelf-life, large volume, and is discharged in an expanding cloud that will reach its target up to 35 feet away. There are a variety of Bear Pepper Sprays on the market that can be purchased at local sporting goods stores or on the Internet. When purchasing Bear Pepper Spray, be sure that the product states that it is for use on bears and has been approved by EPA.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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