Kentucky Adds Bear Season

Kentucky.com, Bear Hunting Magazine
01/14/2009

For two days next December it will be legal to shoot bears in Kentucky, under a rule change that won legislative approval this week, and supporters hope the hunt will help restore a fear of humans to the large animals that have increasingly become a nuisance for some people living in the state's mountain region.

Some bears have become brazen, chasing tourists from campsites, raiding garbage cans, and, in one instance, charging deer hunters, said Rick Allen, president of the Kentucky League of Sportsmen, a hunters organization that had been pushing for a season for the past three years. "We're having more and more bear-human conflicts," Allen said.

The hunting rule approved by the legislature's Administrative Regulation Review Committee sets a two-day season in three eastern Kentucky counties. Hunters will be allowed to take a total of only ten bears.

Kentucky becomes one of 28 states that allow bear hunting. Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett told lawmakers there may be as many as 350 bears in the area where the hunt will be conducted.

The Humane Society program director in Kentucky, said the actual number could be less and does not feel the population is large enough to handle a hunt.

Wildlife officers have received regular complaints of bears scavenging for food at campsites and homesteads. And at a state park near Prestonsburg, a bear held tourists at bay inside a cabin until rangers arrived to chase it away.



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