Concurrent black bear hunting opportunities during deer season

Updated 2 years ago

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Deer hunters are reminded that a concurrent bear season without dogs will occur from Nov. 24 through Dec. 6, 2014, in all or parts of 28 counties, according to Colin Carpenter, Black Bear Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

            Seventeen counties in the eastern mountains will be open to concurrent deer and bear hunting on private  and public land, and require hunters to have applied for and received a limited bear firearms season permit to participate, or be a resident landowner hunting on their own property.

            The counties open to limited bear hunting on private and public land during the buck-gun season include Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Lewis, Mercer, Monroe, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur and Webster.

            Berkeley, Boone, Fayette, Hampshire, Jefferson, Kanawha, Monongalia, Morgan, Nicholas, Preston and Raleigh counties will be open for concurrent bear hunting during the buck-gun season on both public and private land. Hunters in these 11 counties do not need a limited bear firearms season permit to participate. This is an increase from the 10 counties that were open for concurrent bear hunting during the buck-gun season in 2013.

            “Counties that will be open for bear hunting during the buck-gun season are above their management objective and need additional bears harvested to achieve their goal,” Carpenter said. “Timing is critical when setting bear hunting seasons, and the concurrent buck-gun bear season will occur when the maximum number of hunters are in the woods.

            “The larger-than-average acorn crop of 2014 will mean that bears will be dispersed across the landscape. To be successful, hunters will have to locate active feeding areas because bears won’t have to move long distances to find food. These special seasons offer a unique opportunity for hunters who may have never bear hunted before to harvest a bear and we hope that they take advantage of this additional chance,” said Carpenter.

            Bear hunting opportunities continue after the buck-gun season. All or parts of 24 counties will be open for bear hunting with or without hounds Dec. 8-31. In addition, all or parts of 37 counties will be open for bear hunting without hounds Dec. 8-31.

            Successful hunters are encouraged to submit a premolar tooth from each harvested bear. In addition, hunters who harvest a female black bear are encouraged to save the reproductive tract or all the entrails. Hunters can get a bear tooth envelope at all official game checking stations. Hunters with reproductive tracts or entrails should keep them cool or freeze them and contact their nearest DNR District Wildlife Office to arrange pickup. Data obtained from tooth samples and reproductive tracts are used for black bear population monitoring.

            Hunters are reminded to purchase a bear damage stamp as well as an appropriate hunting license. Details concerning bear hunting seasons can be found on pages 36-39 of the 2014-2015 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary.

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