West Virginia 2006 Bear Harvest Numbers

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West Virginia bear hunters harvested 1,705 bears during the combined 2006 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 two percent higher than the 1,661 bears taken in 2005 and only two percent below the record harvest of 1,730 bears established in 2003.

"The 2006 bear harvest was very close to what we expected," said Jezioro. "A tremendous bear population coupled with above average mast conditions and nearly ideal weather conditions in December contributed to a record gun kill. The warm December weather and good food conditions kept many bears out of their dens and available for harvest."

Gun hunters killed 1,188 bears, which is a record harvest. This was the first time on record that gun hunters harvested more than 1,100 bears. The top five gun counties were Greenbrier (148), Pocahontas (132), Randolph (122), Pendleton (101), and Kanawha (89).

Archery hunters took 517 bears, which is 13 percent lower than the 2005 harvest. It ranks as the 3rd highest archery harvest on record. The top five archery counties were Preston (66), Randolph (61), Webster (37), Hardy (33), and Nicholas (32).