Lawmakers have given their blessing to open a hunting season on Kentucky's bear population.
The hunting season was approved Tuesday by the legislature's
Administrative Regulation Review Committee. With the panel's
approval, Kentucky becomes one of 28 states where bear hunting is
allowed. The season is set for next December.
Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett said the season will be
limited to two days and will not negatively impact the bear
population, which has been estimated to be between 130 and 350.
The Humane Society of the United States argued that the bear
population is too small to sustain hunting.
Bears thrived in Kentucky more than a century ago, but
over-hunting and habitat loss led to their disappearance. Over the
past 20 years, they have been venturing back into Kentucky from
neighboring states like Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.