Oklahoma Black Bear Hunt Discussed

Hunt and Fish Oklahoma, Bear Hunting Magazine

"A black bear season has been discussed for southeast Oklahoma for many years," said Nels Rodefeld, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation spokesman. The decision to forward a specific proposal is based on 15 years of biological data and information gathered in response to nuisance bear calls.

The proposal at hand asks that the Oklahoma Wildlife Commission establish a black bear season in Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties that allows for a harvest of 20 bears. The season would open with the deer archery season. If fewer than 20 bears are killed before muzzleloader season opens, then that would become a legal means of take. Hunters would have to report their kills and also check to make sure the season still is open before hunting. Baiting would be allowed only on private land, Rodefeld said.

If the commission passes black bear rules, the state Legislature would still have to approve a black bear license to implement the hunt.

The legislature saw proposals for black bear last year, and those stalled. However, there was no specific request from the department to create a season at that time. Black bear was on the public hearing list last year, but "it was just an information item, not a proposal," Rodefeld stated

Meetings are scheduled for several locations around the state of Oklahoma on January 12, 13 and 15. Check for times and places at the state's website at tulsaworld.com/wildlife for the full listing.

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