Record Harvest for West Virginia Bear Hunters

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West Virginia bear hunters harvested a record 1,807 bears during the combined 2007 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 six percent higher than the 1,703 bears taken in 2006 and eclipses the previous record harvest of 1,730 bears established in 2003.

"A number of different factors contributed to the record harvest of 2007," said Jezioro. "The statewide spotty mast conditions helped archery hunters harvest the second highest archery harvest on record. The incredible bear population and average weather conditions in most of December enabled gun hunters to have their second highest harvest on record. In addition, hunters harvested bears in many non-traditional counties in the western, southern, and eastern portions of the state that added to the total."

Gun hunters killed 1,071 bears, which is the second highest gun harvest on record. The top five gun counties were Randolph (141), Pocahontas (123), Pendleton (115), Greenbrier (85), and Webster (78).

Archery hunters took 736 bears, which is 42 percent higher than the 2006 harvest. It ranks as the second highest archery harvest on record. The top five archery counties were Randolph (74), Webster (69), Greenbrier (54), Nicholas (50), and Preston (47).