Jake's Outdoors » Blog Archive » Black Bears Flourishing in West Virginia

Black Bears Flourishing in West Virginia

May 31st, 2008

Not too long ago, my dad sent me a link to this article that discusses the increased bear population in the state of West Virginia. This has been a great success story here in the state, amidst all the negative press that we get for things like coal mining, and hog population decreases.

According to this article, the State DNR has decided that it is time to implement a fall bear season, which will be early enough to harvest some of the sows before they head to their dens for the winter. Previously, the season has been later in the winter, and has targeted only the bruins that were still out of den.

The plan for this season is to actually decrease the bear population. This will be the first time since the 1960s that the state has tried to decrease the population. In the counties with the open early season, the DNR hopes to decrease the current population by 10-15%. The reason for this is that the population has grown to the point that there are too many nuisance bears, and residents are not willing to put up with them any longer. Eventually, when a program such as the bear program in WV, is successful, it leads to more liberal hunting seasons, and harvest rates.

The counties which will have the early season this year are:

  • September 19-27: Boone, Fayette, Kanawha and Raleigh
  • September 22-27: Barbour, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Nicholas, Pendleton, Preston, Randolph, Tucker and Webster

I have been wanting to hunt bears, and have never done so. Perhaps this will open up an opportunity for me to get out and do some hunting, as some of these counties are not too far away from me. I am happy to see such a successful program in our state! It is a testament to good management practices.

5 Responses to “Black Bears Flourishing in West Virginia”

  1. My husband wants to hunt bears too – our state doesn’t have a large enough population to open a season yet though – good luck when you get to hunt!

  2. We have a bear season here in Michigan, but I haven’t tried my luck at it yet. Maybe someday.

    It definitely is a testament to your DNR that you now have healthy enough populations to hunt. That is pretty cool. Hopefully you’ll get your chance!

  3. I just got a lesson in the difference between populations of Idaho and Oregon. I had an Oregon bear tag and my brother an Idaho bear tag – we saw four bears in two days during his hunt. Zero bears on my hunt. Go figure – he better invite me over for bear steak!

  4. Pennsylvania is also seeing a big increase in our bear population. It will be interesting to see how this trend continues.

  5. patrick toothman Says:
    August 13th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    ive bear hunted here in west virgina all my life and we have always had the promblem of bear going to there dins during the season so im gald that we will get the chance to hunt them while there is still plenty of bear still out

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