Black Bear Hunting News

Black Bear Hunting
Montana residents purchased more black bear hunting licenses this year than in 2001 leading state wildlife officials to suspect that many Montanans unexpectedly enjoyed the new mandatory bear identification training and decided to give black bear hunting a try. Nonresident sales, however, dropped about 50 percent--from 1,093 in 2001 to 549 this year--perhaps due to a nonresident-license fee increase. A nonresident black bear hunting license sells for $350, compared to $120 last year.
Elk, Deer, Antelope and Bear Controlled Hunts
Controlled hunt applications for deer, elk, antelope and black bear can be filed through the last day of May. Hunters can find application forms in the big game proclamation booklet recently delivered to license vendors and Fish and Game offices statewide. Hunting rules and seasons can also be found online at this site where hunters will be able to apply for hunts with the use of a credit card.
Bear Hunting Applications
Applications for the 2002 Minnesota black bear hunting season are now being accepted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through Friday, May 3. This year's season will offer 20,610 licenses, available in 11 permit areas, and will run from Sept. 1 through Oct. 13. Applications, which can be made through the Electronic Licensing System (ELS), are available from 1,750 ELS agents throughout the state and the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Applications can also be made by calling 1-888-MNLicense or through the internet at www.dnr.state.mn.us. Nonresident applicants can mail in their applications, but are encouraged to use the phone or internet.
Black Bears in Motion
With the arrival of spring, black bears and other Washington wildlife are venturing out and are more likely to be seen now than they are in other seasons. Despite the growing human population and increasing encroachment into wildlife habitat, Washington's black bears appear to be thriving and currently number 20,000 to 30,000 animals statewide. Black bears populations are dense in some areas of the state, with concentrations of up to one resident bear per 1.5 square miles on the western slopes of the Cascades Mountains.
Winter Effects Big Game
Maine's IFW has written up a report on the condition of their state's white-tail, moose, and black bear. Last year a heavy winter has a high mortality rate on white-tail heads so the IFW is monitoring all heads carefully, although the jury is still out on this winter.
Indictments in Bear Incident
Since November 2001, an intensive investigation has been conducted by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries concerning the killing of a black bear by Mr. Shannon Simmons of Bedford County. The investigation included numerous witness interviews, along with forensic testing and evaluation of evidence. The results of this investigation were then turned over to the Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney's Office. Upon review of the evidence by that office, three indictments were presented to the March 2002 Bedford County Grand Jury. The Grand Jury returned three true bills against Shannon Simmons.
Expanded Elk and Black Bear Hunting Proposed
A few more tags and greatly expanded hunting areas will be available to elk hunters next fall in California's far north--if recommendations from the Department of Fish and Game are approved by the state Fish and Game Commission. The DFG also has proposed bumping the statewide quota trigger on bear season kill from 1,500 to 1,700. Bear hunting seasons have been cut short in recent years because the reported kill has hit the 1,500 mark before the scheduled season end.
Initial Mandatory Bear Identification Test Results
The first five days after the new Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks mandatory bear identification training and test was available on January 15, over 1,100 certificates were issued to hunters who successfully completed the test. Today, nearly 15,000 certificates have been issued. Of these, about 90 percent were the result of tests taken on the Internet and the remaining certificates were issued to hunters who mailed in their tests. In 2001, FWP sold about 23,000 black bear licenses.
Poaching Ring Members Sentenced
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials today announced the sentencing of the final defendant in a nine-month undercover operation conducted by the DNR Wildlife Resource Protection Unit. The defendant, Tony Lee Linton, of Lachine, Mich., was sentenced to one year in jail with credit for 28 days served, in the 82nd District Court in Harrisville.
Record Bow Bear Hunt; Firearms Bear Hunt Down
Bear archery hunters set a new record during the 2001 bear archery season, taking 463 bears which surpasses the previous record harvest of 424 in 1999. Bear firearms hunters harvested 781 animals during the 2001 gun season. This figure is 24% below the record bear firearms harvest of 1,024 set in 2000. A total of 1,244 bears were harvested during the combined bear archery and firearms seasons which is 6% below the record 1,328 bears that were taken in 2000.