West Virginia Hunters Harvest 2,007 Black Bears in 2011

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia hunters harvested 2,007
black bears during the combined 2011 archery and firearms seasons,
according to Paul Johansen, assistant chief in charge of game
management for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The
preliminary harvest data for the combined 2011 seasons was 16
percent lower than the record harvest of 2,392 established in 2010.
The 2011 black bear harvest is the third highest in West Virginia
history.

“As predicted in the 2011 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook
brochure, mast conditions had a tremendous influence on the
distribution of this year’s bear harvest,” said Johansen. “Lower
mast availability in 2011 allowed archers to pattern bears more
effectively and led to an increased archery harvest. However, a
shortage of fall foods drives bears to den earlier, which leads to
a lower firearms harvest in the traditional December season. The
firearm harvest for bears remained steady compared to previous
years because of the early firearms seasons. These early seasons
are designed to ensure that counties remain at their management
goal.”

Hunters took 619 bears during the 2011 archery season. The top
five counties were Randolph (70), Preston (56), Nicholas (44),
Webster (41) and Wyoming (34).

Firearm hunters harvested 1,388 bears during 2011. Hunters took
631 bears in September, 76 during the concurrent buck/bear season,
and 681 during the traditional December season. Top five counties
were Randolph (148), Greenbrier (141), Pendleton (132), Pocahontas
(112) and Webster (110).

 

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