SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia hunters harvested a record 2,392 black bears during the combined 2010 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 seasons in 2010 was 14 percent higher than the previous record of 2,069 established in 2008.
“As predicted in the 2010 Hunting Outlook, mast conditions had a tremendous influence on this year’s record bear harvest,” said Johansen. “Traditionally, favorable mast conditions lead to lower archery harvests. However, abundant food sources kept many bears active into early winter. In addition, there were numerous counties opened to extended hunting seasons designed to help those counties reach management objectives.”
Hunters took 454 bears during the 2010 archery season.
The top five counties were Randolph (44), Preston (39), Webster (38), Fayette (33) and Nicholas (25).
Firearms hunters took a record harvest of 1,938 bears during 2010. Hunters took 462 bears in September, 309 during the concurrent buck/bear season and 1,167 during the traditional December season. Top five counties were Greenbrier (219), Pendleton (192), Randolph (190), Pocahontas (175) and Webster (135).