HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Hunters in Eastern Kentucky now have an expanded area and seasons in which they can shoot a black bear.
Lawmakers approved regulations by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to open up more of the region for bear hunters.
The new regulations allow hunters in 16 Eastern Kentucky counties to go after black bears.
"We've had a lot of bear sightings in the past several months," KDFWR district seven spokesman Voncel Thacker said. "There's a real good population of black bear in Eastern Kentucky, and this is one way the sports men and women of the state can get out and enjoy the sport."
Wildlife officials also established an archery season for hunting bears - November 23 through December 1.
"We came up with this at our June commission meeting to try and expand our hunting season for Kentucky," Thacker said. "To come up with a new plan for archers, which is really a good opportunity for the archers."
Gregory Ison, a wildlife officer and bear tracker, said the new regulations will be good for Eastern Kentucky.
"I think it's a good thing," Ison said. 'It will help control some of the nuisance bears."
But Ison said there are a couple things to remember when hunting the bears.
"You have to take the bears to a check station so we can get the data off of them," he said. "We'll weigh them and pull a tooth that tells us how old they are. Other than that, good luck hunting."
The new regulations also create more opportunities for hunting with dogs. For more information, visit: http://fw.ky.gov/app/news/newsdetail.aspx?ID=1367