The Department of Natural Resources says the kill total reached 74 Thursday morning on the fourth day of the season. That compares with the modern-day record of 68 set in 2009. Bear hunting resumed in Maryland in 2005 after a 51-year ban.
The season will end Saturday or sooner, depending on how long it takes to reach the quota of 80 to 100 bears set for this year's hunt.
The state issued 30 percent more hunting permits this year than last to help manage a bear population that has more than doubled since 2005.