BECKLEY, W.Va. — West Virginia hunters killed 3,012 black bears during the combined black bear hunting season across West Virginia.

The figure is down six percent statewide from the 2015 bear harvest, but is still the second highest harvest ever.  It’s also the second time the bear harvest has exceeded 3,000 animals.

“The mast index for all oak species in 2016 increased significantly over 2015 and was above the long-term average,” said Colin Carpenter, leader of the Bear Project at the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “Historically, an abundance of oak mast makes bears harder to target for archery hunters. Conversely, increased oak mast typically means a higher December firearms harvest because many bears delay entering their dens due to the abundance of food.”

Hunters killed 1,012 bears during the first segment of the 2016 archery season (Sept. 24 – Nov. 19).  They took 584 bears with vertical bows and 428 with crossbows. The top five counties were Randolph (82), Fayette (74), Nicholas (60), Greenbrier (55) and Preston (52).

Firearms hunters harvested 2,000 bears during 2016. Hunters took 883 bears in September and October, 349 during the concurrent buck-gun bear season, and 768 during the traditional December season. The top five counties were Pendleton (177), Randolph (167), Pocahontas (161), Nicholas (153) and Hardy (133).

Hayley Ours of Maysville, W.Va. with a 140 pound black bear killed during the 2016 bear season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEAR HARVEST
County Bow/Crossbow Sept/Oct Gun Buck Gun December Total
Barbour 45 20 1 0 66
Brooke 0 0 0 0 0
Hancock 0 0 0 0 0
Harrison 16 0 2 0 18
Marion 3 0 0 0 3
Marshall 2 0 0 0 2
Monongalia 7 0 2 0 9
Ohio 0 0 0 0 0
Preston 52 41 22 22 137
Taylor 17 0 1 0 18
Tucker 35 37 6 50 128
Wetzel 1 0 0 1 2
Dist. 1 Subtotal 178 98 34 73 383
Berkeley 3 0 3 0 6
Grant 25 31 6 39 101
Hampshire 17 0 29 4 50
Hardy 26 61 14 58 159
Jefferson 3 0 2 0 5
Mineral 11 0 0 9 20
Morgan 8 0 11 0 19
Pendleton 37 100 10 67 214
Dist. 2 Subtotal 130 192 75 177 574
Braxton 36 11 4 11 62
Clay 9 13 7 16 45
Lewis 13 0 5 0 18
Nicholas 60 56 31 66 213
Pocahontas 23 62 11 88 184
Randolph 82 99 4 64 249
Upshur 14 10 2 6 32
Webster 38 50 9 52 149
Dist. 3 Subtotal 275 301 73 303 952
Fayette 74 21 39 13 147
Greenbrier 55 45 12 73 185
McDowell 49 38 5 16 108
Mercer 33 0 4 2 39
Monroe 24 27 17 29 97
Raleigh 36 25 9 7 77
Summers 26 0 8 0 34
Wyoming 24 30 1 2 57
Dist. 4 Subtotal 321 186 95 142 744
Boone 23 28 30 32 113
Cabell 0 0 0 0 0
Kanawha 26 38 33 28 125
Lincoln 1 0 0 0 1
Logan 22 26 1 2 51
Mason 0 0 0 0 0
Mingo 13 14 0 7 34
Putnam 0 0 0 0 0
Wayne 1 0 0 0 1
Dist. 5 Subtotal 86 106 64 69 325
Calhoun 1 0 3 0 4
Doddridge 3 0 0 0 3
Gilmer 7 0 4 3 14
Jackson 0 0 0 0 0
Pleasants 0 0 0 0 0
Ritchie 4 0 0 0 4
Roane 1 0 0 0 1
Tyler 2 0 0 0 2
Wirt 4 0 1 1 6
Wood 0 0 0 0 0
Dist. 6 Subtotal 22 0 8 4 34
State Total 1012 883 349 768 3012

Bears listed for Logan, McDowell and Wyoming counties as “Buck Gun” are bow or crossbow kills from 11/21 – 12/3.        

November 19, 2016.  All other bow and crossbow kills have been separated based on the seasons in which they were killed.                                         

 

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