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Legal bear killing is first in 51 years in Maryland

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — A freelance outdoors writer bagged an 84-pound female black bear Monday, the first bear legally killed by a hunter in Maryland in 51 years.

David Ciekot, 35, of Cambridge, said he shot the bear from a tree stand from about 40 yards away just after dawn on private land near the Garrett County community of Friendsville in western Maryland. He said he downed the 9-month-old animal with one shot.

Baiting was prohibited during the tightly regulated six-day hunt, intended to cull a growing bear population but opposed by animal rights groups. Instead of waiting near a pile of jelly doughnuts or lighting up a smoky, sweet-smelling lure, participants must go where the bears are.