A West Virginia Bear Adventure


Joe Riffenberger, the father of black bear research in West Virginia, came to the conclusion if the bear season was delayed until December it would enable pregnant females to go to den before hunters had access to them.    Riffenberger reached that conclusion after years of traipsing around the West Virginia mountains and studying the reproductive habits of the state’s bear population.

Joe’s idea has worked like gangbusters, the bear population in the Mountain State has never been stronger.    As a matter of fact, the effort has worked so well, there are now considerations being made to reduce the bear numbers.

The DNR continues its bear project with constant research and monitoring of bears with radio transmitter collars, tattoos, and ear tags.  Biologist pay regular visits to bear dens to check on radio collared sows to check on their health and whether they are producing cubs.

During March, I tagged along on one of these routine den visits to learn more about the work.   My six-year old daughter Savannah joined me for the day.   Click the icon above to hear Savannah‘s account of what happened during her West Virginia bear adventure.


More Outdoors

Putnam County hunter's miss was the key on a cold, rainy afternoon
Brett Walker of Buffalo, W.Va. says he was so cold, he missed his first buck, but later in the day was able to close the deal on a much, much bigger whitetail.
November 25, 2023 - 12:01 am
Special trout stockings to happen on two Webster County waters
The Elk River and the catch and release section on Back Fork of Elk in Webster Counties will get special stockings in November and December to see just how much to a tourism draw they will create for the area
November 22, 2023 - 1:56 pm
A hot afternoon produced a massive Gilmer County buck
Despite a warm day, a glimpse of the big buck he was after prompted Herb Miller to head to his hunting blind not far from home in a hunt he'll not soon forget
November 22, 2023 - 12:01 am
Deer hunters find success on opening day
West Virginia DNR biologists and wildlife managers spend opening day collecting biological samples from deer in four counties.
November 20, 2023 - 1:38 pm

Your Comments