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DEER SEASON 2010: Black Bear Opportunities

Most wildlife in West Virginia struggled to survive a long, harsh winter last year.   The frigid conditions and heavy snowfall were made worse by a severe lack of mast going into the winter.   However, one species didn’t struggle at.    Black bear numbers in West Virginia have actually increased so much they’ve become a nuisance in some parts of the state.

Biologists say the increasing number of complaints about bear damage prompted a need to thin their numbers.   The best way to do so is open the season to hunters.  Therefore, the two week buck season in West Virginia will also coincide with a black bear season in all or portions of 10-West Virginia counties.

"In 2009 we had an extraordinary amount of bear complaints," said DNR Game Management supervisor Gary Foster. "We did bring some of those counties into the deer gun season.”

Hunters will not be allowed to pursue bear with dogs during the two week buck season, but if they have the proper bear tags, they can take one while deer hunting in the following counties: Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Raleigh, Hampshire, Mercer, Monongalia, and Morgan and on private land in Greenbrier and Nicholas Counties.    You can see the full 2010 bear hunting regulations here.

"If they’re going to be hunting in some of those counties during the buck season, that’s a real good opportunity to bag a black bear," Foster said.


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