By Montana Grant

Posted: June 18, 2023

A lifetime ago, I lived in Maryland. Being from western Maryland, I was used to seeing bears in the Appalachian Mountains of Garrett County. The biggest black bear that I ever encountered, was pushing 500 lbs.

Recently, black bears are showing up in great numbers throughout the state. I was the ranger and naturalist for the largest park in Baltimore County, and never saw a bear. That seems to have changed. Several black bears have been seen roaming central Maryland and the citizens are amazed.

Whether bears are back east or in Montana, the bear awareness needs to be the same. The Maryland Dept. Of Natural Resources has posted bear info that is as relevant there as here.

I do not ever remember Grizzly bears being seen back east, but an angry black bear can do some damage. A bear hunter in Montana was recently attacked and had to shoot the massive predator. Tourists and remote residents routinely encounter bears.

Even in downtown Bozeman, bears and mountain lions are not uncommon visitors. I saw a Black Bear, just a few minutes from my home in Belgrade, last week. The 200 lb. boar was looking at interstate 95 in hopes of finding a safe passage to the Bridger Mountains. Several roads and fences would prevent any hope of that happening. He may have reversed direction and headed back into the Hyalite Range.

The Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources has a wonderful poster that educates people about bears and how to avoid encounters. The Bear problem exists throughout the country and the rules are the same.

Always Be Bear Aware! Most encounters are avoidable.

Montana Grant

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