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  • Upstate Bear Hunting Report

    The numbers are in and the number of bears that were killed in Game Zone 1 were down this year. Only 35 bears were killed as opposed to 92 last year.

    Richard Morton, wildlife biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, said,
    “ Harvest was far below last year’s harvest of 92; however, if you take out last year’s harvest which was abnormal and look at the harvest over the previous 10 years, the average is 38 bears per season. This year the harvest was 35 bears; so almost average.”

    The first week of still hunting was good weather, but only 10 bears were killed in Game Zone 1. The harvest for the still hunt in the three counties were: Greenville, 2 males; Pickens, 2 males & 1 female; and Oconee, 4 males & 1 female. Some speculated that the poor acorn crop had sent the bears to higher elevations.

    Like one bear hunter said, “Bad weather; bad hunting.” This was the case for the first 3 days of dog hunting. Due to heavy down pours of rain, only 25 bears were killed. The harvest for the dog hunts in the three counties were: Greenville,1 male; Pickens, 5 males & 10 females; Oconee, 4 males & 5 females. (It should be noted that several hunting parties bayed sows with cubs; of course, they were not killed.)

    Many of the hunters wondered where the estimated 1000-1500 Upstate bears had gone. Whatever the reasons, a poor acorn crop, bad weather, or only two good days of dog hunting, they took there toll on the bear hunting. But there again, that's hunting.

    South Carolina Sportsman Field Reporter
    Capt. Glenn “Teach” Corley