South Carolina 2007 Harvest Data

South Carolina DNR, Bear Hunting Magazine

Record black bear harvest set in South Carolina mountains!

A record number of black bears were harvested during the two-week bear-hunting season in the three South Carolina mountain counties, and the states chief black bear biologist said this was expected since bear are increasing both their numbers and their range.

Fifty-eight black bears were harvested during the 2007 bear season, held the last two weeks of October in Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties. This is the highest number of bear ever harvested during the two-week season, which is divided into one week of still-hunting and one week of hunting with dogs. The previous record of 55 bears harvested was set in 2003.

The highest number of bears harvested during the 2007 season was in Oconee County with 23, followed by Pickens County with 20 and Greenville County with 15.

"The harvest follows the pattern we have been seeing for years and follows all of our indicators," said Skip Still, black bear biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources based in Clemson. "We have been telling folks that the black bear population in the mountains and piedmont is expanding both in number and range and all indicationssurveys, human/bear interactions, sightings, road killsconfirm those statements. The only thing surprising about the harvest is that we had a poor mast year while other surrounding states did not. Every bear that I saw harvested this year was in good health and had a lot of fat reserves. Eight bear were over 400 pounds with the heaviest weighing 530 pounds."

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