Kentucky’s third annual black bear hunt begins tomorrow in Harlan, Letcher and Pike counties.
Eastern Kentucky’s black bear population was almost non-existent for decades, but Steven Dobey with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says the numbers have grown sufficiently to allow a limited hunt.
“Hunting in an of itself is really the primary means we have to manage population size and over the course of the years there certainly has been a very distinct interest in bear hunting, and that’s been another impetus for the season itself,” he said.
The three-county bear harvest is limited to ten bears total or five female bears. If the limit is not met by 9:00pm tomorrow, the hunt will be extended for a second and final day. Hunters have to call an information line to find out if the quota has been reached.
Dobey says about three hundred hunters sought bear hunting permits in the previous two years. Only two bears were harvested during that period because of heavy snowfall.