6:00pm: Sportsline with Tony Caridi

Record year for black bear hunters

2012 was another banner year for bear hunters in West Virginia.  In fact, the DNR says after counting check tags it was another record for black bears killed during a season.

Hunters killed 2,683 bears during the archery and firearms hunting seasons combined.  The numbers are an increase of 34% over the 2011 harvest of just 2,009 bears. It represented a 12% increase over the previous record year in 2010.  It’s also the fourth time in the past five years the harvest has exceeded 2,000.

“As predicted in the 2012 DNR Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook publication, mast conditions had a tremendous influence on the distribution of this year’s bear harvest,” said DNR Bear Project Leader Colin Carpenter. “The statewide oak mast index for 2012 was much higher than in 2011 but the distribution was spotty. This fact, combined with two additional weeks of archery hunting, allowed archers to locate bears effectively and led to an increased archery harvest.”

The three firearms seasons were highly successful as well.

“Abundant oak mast keeps bears active into the winter and makes these bears vulnerable to harvest during concurrent buck-gun and bear seasons and the traditional December firearms season. Favorable mast conditions, combined with multiple counties open during September, led to a large increase in the firearms harvest.”

Top five counties during archery season were Webster where 71 bears were killed.  Followed by Nicholas, Randolph, Fayette, and Preston Counties. 

Firearms hunters killed a total of 1,937 bears in 2012.  681 were killed in the early September season.  Hunters took another 266 during the concurrent buck/bear season, and 990 were killed during the traditional December hunting season.

The top five counties were Pocahontas County with 183 bears killed, followed by Pendleton, Randolph, Webster, and Greenbrier Counties.

 

2012 WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEAR HARVEST

      
County

Archery

September

Buck Gun

December

Total

Barbour

27

2

0

13

42

Brooke

0

0

0

0

0

Hancock

0

0

0

0

0

Harrison

3

0

0

0

3

Marion

0

0

0

1

1

Marshall

0

0

0

0

0

Monongalia

3

0

5

0

8

Ohio

0

0

0

0

0

Preston

51

15

37

28

131

Taylor

7

0

0

0

7

Tucker

17

38

0

37

92

Wetzel

1

0

0

0

1

Dist. I Subtotal

109

55

42

79

285

Berkeley

3

0

0

0

3

Grant

18

46

0

50

114

Hampshire

16

0

46

10

72

Hardy

17

44

0

85

146

Jefferson

1

0

0

1

2

Mineral

5

0

0

10

15

Morgan

2

0

11

5

18

Pendleton

16

84

0

95

195

Dist. II Subtotal

78

174

57

256

565

Braxton

15

5

0

21

41

Clay

10

5

0

32

47

Lewis

7

0

0

6

13

Nicholas

67

31

0

39

137

Pocahontas

11

56

0

127

194

Randolph

57

58

0

105

220

Upshur

11

0

0

11

22

Webster

71

73

0

78

222

Dist. III Subtotal

249

228

0

419

896

Fayette

55

46

59

32

192

Greenbrier

38

50

0

98

186

McDowell

34

21

0

12

67

Mercer

13

0

0

1

14

Monroe

19

0

0

15

34

Raleigh

21

21

23

7

72

Summers

13

0

0

0

13

Wyoming

32

12

0

7

51

Dist. IV Subtotal

225

150

82

172

629

Boone

17

32

44

20

113

Cabell

0

0

0

0

0

Kanawha

24

29

41

25

119

Lincoln

1

0

0

1

2

Logan

30

10

0

11

51

Mason

0

0

0

0

0

Mingo

6

3

0

2

11

Putnam

0

0

0

0

0

Wayne

1

0

0

1

2

Dist. V Subtotal

79

74

85

60

298

Calhoun

1

0

0

1

2

Doddridge

0

0

0

0

0

Gilmer

1

0

0

2

3

Jackson

0

0

0

0

0

Pleasants

0

0

0

0

0

Ritchie

0

0

0

1

1

Roane

4

0

0

0

4

Tyler

0

0

0

0

0

Wirt

0

0

0

0

0

Wood

0

0

0

0

0

Dist. VI Subtotal

6

0

0

4

10

State Total

746

681

266

990

2683





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