Wildlife Commission schedules meetings to discuss bear management plan

RALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a series of public meetings in October to discuss the 2012-2022 Black Bear Management Plan, including possibly creating a Piedmont bear hunting season, extending the length of bear hunting seasons, increasing the bag limit in some areas, and receiving public comments on inequities between bear hunting with aid of bait that currently exist between hunters with hounds and still hunters.

(N.C. Wildlife photo)

(N.C. Wildlife photo)

The Wildlife Commission’s 10-year Black Bear Management Plan creates a structured decision-making process for recommendations regarding bear hunting regulations. The management plan will assist the Wildlife Commission in managing bear hunting to maintain healthy bear populations consistent with habitat where bears occur, and balance the consideration of citizens.

Currently, bear hunters can release hounds at or near sites containing unprocessed food products, but still hunters are prohibited from taking a bear in an area containing bait. Staff will record comments to address this inequity.

Staff will present information and record comments on a possible bear hunting season in the Piedmont. Currently, only the western and eastern regions have counties with a bear hunting season.

Information also will be presented on recent state legislation establishing a $10 black bear hunting stamp, effective for 2014 hunting seasons that will be required for all bear hunters. Revenue from the bear stamp will be used for black bear research and management.

“Our goal with these meetings is to provide citizens an opportunity to voice their opinions and present ideas,” said Dr. David Cobb, chief of the Commission’s Division of Wildlife Management.

All meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. The locations and dates are:

  • Northeastern Region: Oct. 1 at Martin Community College, Building 2 auditorium. Located at 1161 Kehukee Park Road, Williamston.
  • Southeastern Region: Oct. 2 at Bladen Community College auditorium. Located at 7418 N.C. Hwy. 41, Dublin.
  • Mountain Region: Oct. 9 at Haywood Technical Community College auditorium. Located at 185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde.
  • Piedmont Region: Oct. 10 at Guilford Technical Community College, in the Sears Applied Technologies Center auditorium (Room 120). Located at 601 High Point Road, Jamestown.

For more information on North Carolina’s black bears, bear research and management, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/bear.

–from N.C. Wildlife Commission

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