Parts Of Eastern Kentucky Ready For Limited Bear Season

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife commission unanimously approved a bear hunting season in three eastern Kentucky counties. The two-day season is planned for December 2009.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials say years of extensive studies indicate parts of eastern Kentucky are ready for a limited bear season.

In the past few years, commission member Doug Hensley says biologists have found more and more black bears are coming into our region from surrounding states.

“We've got all the information that we need to document a limited season. Now the only way to really tell is to have a season,” says Doug Hensley, Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Commission.

The commission proposed a two-day hunt for only male black bears in Pike, Letcher and Harlan Counties.

Only a total of ten bears can be taken during that time - with the Hensley-Pine Mountain Wildlife Management Area and Kingdom Come State Park off limits to hunters.

“If we kill ten bears the first day, guess what? We'll have a bigger season the next year. If we kill five bears in two days then we may take it easy. It will tell us what to do in the future,” says Hensley.

The idea is already being met with opposition from animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States which claims the bear population in our region isn't big enough to sustain a hunting season.

But wildlife officials say male bears hunting for their own space here is a problem.

“They are very territorial, black bears are and a lot of times they'll go on a territory and they keep getting run out by bigger bears,” says Hensley.

With that in mind wildlife officials say black bears need to be left alone. They also stress feeding or leaving anything edible outside your home - whether it's trash or even pet food - could pose a great risk to you and the bears.

“Don't feed the bears. All your doing when your doing that is signing their death warrant,” says Hensley.

Wildlife officials say they chose December for the hunt because that's a time when female bears and their cubs stay in dens.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jerry on Nov 12, 2009 at 01:53 AM
    Just curious if a hundred people go out how do they know how many bear have been taken. There is suppose to be 10 in 2 days.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 20, 2009 at 06:12 PM
    Hey Rick! I want to hunt with you in case that second bear shows up!
  • by Curt Location: Lexington on Aug 26, 2009 at 07:31 PM
    I think this is a good sign. When I was a child I can't remember ever hearing of anyone seeing, let alone being able to hunt a bear. Let's face it folks; people always have, and always will hunt. Lets all be mature about this and see this as it is. A good thing. Conservation and restoration is working for all involved. I think instead of fighting over whether we should or shouldn't hunt this year, we should be patting our friends at the KF&W on the back with a job well done. If it wasn't for them this discussion would not even be possible.
  • by Rick Location: Edmon on Jun 20, 2009 at 10:55 AM
    To the idiot who said that "anyone disgusting enough to shoot one of these wonderful creatures..." perhaps if you think they are so wonderful then you should come out and try feeding them. I plan on hunting them in December and if I kill one, I sincerely hope I am attacked by another one so I can shoot it also and get two bears for the price of one.
  • by Lindsey Location: Western Ky on Apr 10, 2009 at 09:32 PM
    As I see it as hunter and a tax payer of Ky. I think we as hunters and sportsman need to take control of this issue and all other need to but the Hell out of our relaxation time. lets cut into something they enjoy and see how they would react, but wait there too busy making idiotic statements.To TG who said they hope if someone bags a bear that another bear tears of there head and rips them apart. I really hope you love your big city life in Lexington and if you want to see this happen try the you tube where the bear watcher has it filmed and may it haunt you forever for wishing that on another human. Just goes to show your ignorance.To all of my hunting copanions in Ky and nation wide stand up for our hunting rights for those that oppose sure are standing up against it. SO DO NOT HOLD YOUR TONGUE SPEAK OUT BE HERD! HAPPY BEAR HUNTING!
  • by george Location: KY on Aug 3, 2008 at 02:29 AM
    You anti hunting people are pure idiots. Who do you think is resposible for the restoration of wildlife? Hunters/fishermen have paid for all the restoration efforts to date. You cough up the money if you want a say so. Without hunting their would be NO deer, turkey, elk or much of anything here to hunt and or watch. Use your heads for something other than a place to grow hair.
  • by CONCERNED Location: EASTERN KY on Jul 10, 2008 at 08:06 PM
    JUST WHAT EASTERN KENTUCKY NEEDS! MORE THINGS TO SHOOT AT!
  • by concerned Location: ky on Jul 10, 2008 at 07:32 PM
    Is there too many bears in kentucky? If so, then RELOCATE them to other areas...DON"T KILL THEM!
  • by Dan Location: Louisville on Jul 9, 2008 at 11:29 PM
    I can understand hunting for food, but killing any animal for "trophy" should be a crime. I guess some men need this to make them feel "like a big man or something". Killing for fun or trophy is sick and I hope those that do, get their "just reward" as TG in lexington says.
  • by check Location: drawer on Jul 8, 2008 at 07:29 PM
    a charles I agree with you I two support huntin the beast of the south east with respect so TG just tip your hat to the check drawers we eat bear deer rattle snakes an alot more an if you dont like this just turn the other way cause we really dont care what you think anyway
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