Bear Season Update

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According to Fish and Game wildlife biologists, the bear-hunting season has produced 281 bears as of November 26. Bear season in most units is over, though the White Mountains, Central Region and WMU C2 remain open to still hunting/stalking until December 8.

Regionally, 60 bears were taken in the North Region, 84 in the White Mountains, 93 in the Central Region and 44 in the southern units.

Bear project leader Andrew Timmins reports that this year's bear harvest is going well, and that the numbers are similar to the harvests of 1997 and 1998. "The past three bear seasons saw record harvests," says Timmins. "It looks like this year we are on track for a solid, sustainable bear harvest, just what we were looking for. Bears spent a lot of time feeding at high elevations and in remote areas this season and therefore were less accessible to hunters compared to year with mast failures."

Timmins says that sows likely have begun to enter their dens because of early snows and a "fair" food year. However, many deer hunters continue to report bear activity in stands where beechnuts are still available and where mountain ash berries are persistent.