West Virginia Hunters Harvest 1,828 Black Bears in 2009

West Virginia Hunters Harvest 1,828 Black Bears in 2009

West Virginia DNR
West Virginia DNR

West Virginia –-(AmmoLand.com)-West Virginia hunters harvested 1,828 black bears during the combined 2009 archery and firearms seasons, according to Chris Ryan, Supervisor of Game Management Services for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The preliminary harvest data for the combined seasons in 2009 is the second highest harvest on record behind only 2008.

“Multiple factors contributed to this most recent bear harvest,” said Ryan. “West Virginia has a tremendous bear population that allows for a variety of different hunting opportunities. The poor statewide mast conditions allowed archery hunters to better pattern bear movements as the bruins were looking for concentrated food sources. However, poor mast conditions and a larger than normal December snowfall pushed bears into their winter dens, thereby making them unavailable to gun hunters.”

Hunters took a record 987 bears during the 2009 archery season. This was the first time in history that the archery harvest topped 800, let alone reaching the 900 mark. Biologists predicted that this would be a record bow harvest because of the statewide mast conditions and the remarkable bear population. The top five counties were Randolph (118), Webster (92), Nicholas (77), Greenbrier (77), and Preston (73).

Firearms hunters harvested 841 bears during the 2009 combined gun seasons. West Virginia DNR biologists have demonstrated a direct relationship between mast conditions and bear gun harvests. The poor mast conditions coupled with the larger than normal snowfall and reduced hunting opportunities resulted in a predictable lower gun harvest in 2009.  Top five counties were Randolph (112), Fayette (86), Pocahontas (74), Pendleton (70), and Raleigh (58).

WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEAR HARVEST, 2009

County

Bow

Gun

TOTAL

Barbour

17

8

25

Brooke

0

C

0

Hancock

0

C

0

Harrison

1

0

1

Marion

0

0

0

Marshall

0

C

0

Monongalia

4

3

7

Ohio

0

C

0

Preston

73

28

101

Taylor

1

1

2

Tucker

41

47

88

Wetzel

1

C

1

District I Subtotal

138

87

225

Berkeley

3

1

4

Grant

29

29

58

Hampshire

13

9

22

Hardy

40

45

85

Jefferson

3

0

3

Mineral

9

4

13

Morgan

4

2

6

Pendleton

32

70

102

Dist. II Subtotal

133

160

293

Braxton

22

5

27

Clay

22

5

27

Lewis

2

0

2

Nicholas

77

38

115

Pocahontas

22

74

96

Randolph

118

112

230

Upshur

3

3

6

Webster

92

53

145

Dist. III Subtotal

358

290

648

Fayette

49

86

135

Greenbrier

77

51

128

McDowell

19

3

22

Mercer

28

1

29

Monroe

32

6

38

Raleigh

30

58

88

Summers

10

1

11

Wyoming

38

1

39

Dist. IV Subtotal

283

207

490

Boone

12

51

63

Cabell

0

0

0

Kanawha

24

45

69

Lincoln

0

0

0

Logan

20

0

20

Mason

0

0

0

Mingo

6

0

6

Putnam

0

0

0

Wayne

0

1

1

Dist. V Subtotal

62

97

159

Calhoun

0

0

0

Doddridge

0

C

0

Gilmer

3

0

3

Jackson

1

C

1

Pleasants

1

C

1

Ritchie

2

C

2

Roane

2

0

2

Tyler

0

C

0

Wirt

3

C

3

Wood

1

C

1

Dist. VI Subtotal

13

0

13

STATE TOTAL

987

841

1,828