West Virginia hunters harvest 3,012 black bears in 2016

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West Virginia hunters harvest 3,012 black bears in 2016

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia hunters harvested 3,012 black bears during the combined 2016 archery, crossbow and firearms seasons, according to Colin Carpenter, Black Bear Project leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The preliminary black bear harvest data for the combined 2016 seasons were 6 percent lower than the record set in 2015. The harvest is the second highest bear kill recorded and is the second time the harvest has topped 3,000.

“The mast index for all oak species in 2016 increased significantly over 2015 and was above the long-term average,” said Carpenter. “Historically, an abundance of oak mast makes bears harder to target for archery hunters. Conversely, increased oak mast typically means a higher December firearms harvest because many bears delay entering their dens due to the abundance of food.”

Carpenter added, “In the 2016 Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook, we predicted a decreased archery harvest and a similar-to-slightly greater December firearms harvest over the levels observed in 2015. Our prediction held true for the archery season, but did not hold up in the December season.”

“Overall, the 2016 harvest declined during the archery, buck-gun and December seasons over the levels recorded in 2015. However, those decreases were partially offset by very successful early gun seasons in September and October.

Hunters killed 1,012 bears during the first segment of the 2016 archery season (Sept. 24 – Nov. 19).  They took 584 bears with vertical bows and 428 with crossbows. The top five counties were Randolph (82), Fayette (74), Nicholas (60), Greenbrier (55) and Preston (52).

Firearms hunters harvested 2,000 bears during 2016. Hunters took 883 bears in September and October, 349 during the concurrent buck-gun bear season, and 768 during the traditional December season. The top five counties were Pendleton (177), Randolph (167), Pocahontas (161), Nicholas (153) and Hardy (133).

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2016 WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEAR HARVEST

 

 

 

 

 

 

County

Bow/Crossbow

Sept/Oct Gun

Buck Gun

December

Total

Barbour

45

20

1

0

66

Brooke

0

0

0

0

0

Hancock

0

0

0

0

0

Harrison

16

0

2

0

18

Marion

3

0

0

0

3

Marshall

2

0

0

0

2

Monongalia

7

0

2

0

9

Ohio

0

0

0

0

0

Preston

52

41

22

22

137

Taylor

17

0

1

0

18

Tucker

35

37

6

50

128

Wetzel

1

0

0

1

2

Dist. 1 Subtotal

178

98

34

73

383

Berkeley

3

0

3

0

6

Grant

25

31

6

39

101

Hampshire

17

0

29

4

50

Hardy

26

61

14

58

159

Jefferson

3

0

2

0

5

Mineral

11

0

0

9

20

Morgan

8

0

11

0

19

Pendleton

37

100

10

67

214

Dist. 2 Subtotal

130

192

75

177

574

Braxton

36

11

4

11

62

Clay

9

13

7

16

45

Lewis

13

0

5

0

18

Nicholas

60

56

31

66

213

Pocahontas

23

62

11

88

184

Randolph

82

99

4

64

249

Upshur

14

10

2

6

32

Webster

38

50

9

52

149

Dist. 3 Subtotal

275

301

73

303

952

Fayette

74

21

39

13

147

Greenbrier

55

45

12

73

185

McDowell

49

38

5

16

108

Mercer

33

0

4

2

39

Monroe

24

27

17

29

97

Raleigh

36

25

9

7

77

Summers

26

0

8

0

34

Wyoming

24

30

1

2

57

Dist. 4 Subtotal

321

186

95

142

744

Boone

23

28

30

32

113

Cabell

0

0

0

0

0

Kanawha

26

38

33

28

125

Lincoln

1

0

0

0

1

Logan

22

26

1

2

51

Mason

0

0

0

0

0

Mingo

13

14

0

7

34

Putnam

0

0

0

0

0

Wayne

1

0

0

0

1

Dist. 5 Subtotal

86

106

64

69

325

Calhoun

1

0

3

0

4

Doddridge

3

0

0

0

3

Gilmer

7

0

4

3

14

Jackson

0

0

0

0

0

Pleasants

0

0

0

0

0

Ritchie

4

0

0

0

4

Roane

1

0

0

0

1

Tyler

2

0

0

0

2

Wirt

4

0

1

1

6

Wood

0

0

0

0

0

Dist. 6 Subtotal

22

0

8

4

34

State Total

1012

883

349

768

3012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bears listed for Logan, McDowell and Wyoming counties as "Buck Gun" are bow or crossbow kills from 11/21 - 12/3.        

November 19, 2016.  All other bow and crossbow kills have been separated based on the seasons in which they were killed.     

FOR RELEASE: Jan. 10, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: Hoy Murphy, (304) 957-9365, Hoy.R.Murphy@wv.gov

CONTACT: Colin Carpenter, Wildlife Resources Section, 304-256-6947, Colin.P.Carpenter@wv.gov