South Carolina Raises Limit

South Carolina DNR, Bear Hunting Magazine

South Carolina wildlife officials are raising the number of bears that hunting parties can take because of an increase in the bear population.

The Natural Resources Department has stated that the number of bears a hunting party can take has been raised to five from three, but that individual hunters are still limited to one bear per season.

Natural Resources officials said the number of black bears in South Carolina has gotten so large that the animals are boldly looking for food in residential areas. Black bears can weigh up to 600 pounds. Bear season in South Carolina has two parts: one week for hunting with dogs and another for still hunting or stalking.

"All our indicators are that we have a very healthy bear population," said Tom Swayngham, a supervisor with the state Natural Resources Department.

Natural Resources Department officials also can expand the two-week, late-October hunting season to areas outside the state's three mountain counties of Greenville, Pickens and Oconee, where most of the state's bears live.

Last year, hunters bagged 92 bears, the most ever recorded in a season. The previous high was 58 taken in 2007.

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