Hunters Harvest 1,613 Bears in 2005
West Virginia bear hunters harvested 1,613 bears during the combined 2005 archery and firearms season, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the Division of Natural Resources. This preliminary harvest data for the combined bear season is 31 percent higher than the 1,233 bears taken in 2004 and only 6 percent below the harvest record of 1,713 bears established in 2003.
“The 2005 bear harvest was very close to what we expected,” said Jezioro. “A tremendous bear population coupled with good mast conditions and better-than-average weather conditions in December contributed to a record gun kill. Our data indicates good hard mast production is correlated with increased gun harvests in the traditional December seasons. In addition to the record gun kill, archery hunters took advantage of the healthy bear population by recording the third highest archery kill on record.”
Gun hunters killed 1,041 bears, which is a record harvest. The top five gun counties were Pendleton (119), Pocahontas (116), Greenbrier (105), Randolph (93) and Kanawha (86).
Archery hunters took 572 bears, which is 55 percent higher than the 2004 harvest. The top five archery counties were Randolph (87), Webster (66), Nicholas (47), Greenbrier (37) and Preston (37).