Recent changes by the Division of Natural Resources are looking to expand black bear hunting season to more than a dozen counties. The changes, if they are approved, would also allow bears to be hunted with firearms during the 12-day fire arm buck deer hunting season, in addition to the regular four week season.
The DNR is looking to control the bear population by increasing the areas where they are hunted.
"We did a [scientific public-opinion] survey of all the state's counties to determine what [bear] population level people are willing to tolerate," Chris Ryan, DNR's game management services supervisor, told the West Virginia Gazette. "Using the findings from that survey, we fine-tuned our population objectives for each county. These regulation proposals are designed to keep those populations in line with our management objectives."
The counties affected include Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Lewis, Mercer, Mineral, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur and Webster.
Hunters looking to apply for bear hunting season in Washington will need to have permits in by midnight February 28. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is issuing 363 permits in west Washington and 314 east of the Cascades.
Those heading out for the upcoming bear hunting seasons should equip their vehicles with Husky Liners® vehicles floor mats, to protect their interiors from damage while on the hunt.