Virginia Releases 2011 Bear Harvest Totals

Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, Bear Hunting Magazine

Virginia hunters harvested 1,997 bears during the archery, muzzleloader and firearms seasons this past season. The harvest was approximately 10% lower than the 2010 harvest of 2,221 bears.

Some of the breakdown numbers are as follows:

• Bears were harvested in 73 counties including the first in Henrico County in many decades.

• Sows represented 42% of the harvest, which was more than the 2010 percentage of 39%, but equal to the 2009 harvest.

• Archery hunters accounted for 693 bears which was 35% of the total harvest.

• As expected with the poor mast crop, archery success increased this year over 2010 and was comparable to the archery harvest reported in years with limited or spotty fall mast. Archery success typically increases during poor mast years and decreases when acorns are abundant.

• The top three archery counties were Rockingham with 52, Page with 50 and Warren with 31.

• Crossbow hunters accounted for 42% of the total archery kill.

• Firearms season reprsented 52% of the total harvest with 1,039 bears, a decrease from the 1,428 harvested in 2010.

• Hound hunters took 64% of the firearms harvest.

• The top three general firearms counties were Augusta with 109, Rockingham with 96 and Rockbridge with 67.

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