Nearly seven decades separate the youngest and oldest hunters who killed black bears in this year’s state-controlled hunt, which ended Friday night. A record 92 bears were killed in Allegany and Garrett counties during the five-day hunt, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
A quota of 80 to 110 bears had been set, an increase from last year’s quota of 55 to 80, which corresponds with the growth of the bear population in Maryland. Sixty-eight bears were killed a year ago.
Aurora Wilhelm, who won’t turn 8 until next month, became the youngest hunter to take down a bear since the hunt was revived in 2004. She shot a 232-pound male while out with her father, Chad, and 9-year-old sister, Eliza, on family property in Lonaconing on Tuesday night.