On February 5, 2020

Bear hunters had a record season

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reports that bear hunters in Vermont had a safe and successful hunting season in 2019. Preliminary numbers show that hunters took a record 750 black bears during the two-part early and late bear seasons. The previous highest harvest ever recorded in was 728 in 2004.  There were no hunting-related shooting incidents.

The average number of bears taken over the previous 10 years was 597. The hunting season results are consistent with the goal of maintaining the bear population to within 4,500-6,000 bears, according to bear biologist Forrest Hammond.

Many large bears were reported with 12 weighing over 300 pounds.

“Between an abundant population, a long hunting season and the potential of harvesting delicious and nutritious bear meat, Vermonters and visitors are becoming increasingly interested in hunting this big game animal,” said Hammond.

“Fifty years ago Vermont had less than 1,500 bears, and they were found mostly in the mountains and northeastern quarter of the state,” Hammond said. “Today we have about 5,000 bears in Vermont, and they are found pretty much throughout the state.”

Each hunter is required to submit a pre-molar tooth from their bear which will provide information on the age of the animal. Bear ages will be posted in early May at vtfishandwildlife.com.

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