Virginia 2007-08 Black Bear Harvest

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

1,517 bears were harvested during the 2007-08 season. Virginia's black bear harvest trend has been increasing at an average annual rate of 7.4% per year over the past decade. The 2007-08 harvest was 7.5% less than last year's harvest of 1,633 bears but was very similar to the 2003-04 harvest of 1,511 bears and the second highest bear harvest documented in Virginia.

Bear harvests west and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains were 1,034 (68% of the harvest) and 482 (32 % of the harvest), respectively. Comparatively, in 2006, 75% of the harvest was west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Similar to the last few years, the eight counties surrounding Shenandoah National Park produced 38% (575 bears) of the total bear kill.

The archery harvest of 393 bears (25% of the total harvest) was comparable to the 2006-07 season. Also similar to the 2006-07 season, crossbows accounted for 38% of the entire archery harvest of bears. Over 70% of the archery harvest was west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The 4-day muzzleloading season accounted for 92 bears (6.1% of the total harvest). This was similar to the 6% of bears harvested during the 2006-07 muzzleloading season.

The 2007-08 regular firearms harvest of 1,032 bears was slightly decreased from the harvest of 1,118 bears in the 2006-07 season. Dog hunters accounted for 52% of the regular firearms harvest and 35% of the total bear kill.

Similar to the long-term average of 37%, the harvest was comprised of 35% females. Bear hunters in all seasons and hunter groups harvested a similar proportion of females. The percent female composition of the archery, muzzleloader, and regular firearms season was 37%, 34%, and 34%, respectively. Female bears represented 31% of the hound-hunter harvest.

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