Black bear ‘management’ may be coming to the Piedmont

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission wants to control the growing black bear population by creating a new bear hunting season.

Under the proposal, bear hunts would be allowed in the Piedmont and would likely follow deer hunting season.

While some might disagree with the proposal, N.C. Wildlife Biologist Ann May says hunting is the best way to control the increasing rate of accidental bear/human contact in the Piedmont.

"Their [bear] population has increased over the last 30 years increasing about 6 percent a year and they are naturally expanding their range," May explained. "Hunting is the method of managing population numbers."

Deer meat processor Phillip Craven says the proposal for a new bear hunting season makes sense.

"I've had a lot of people see them [bears] while they are hunting. On their cameras, in deer stands, while they are going home in the afternoons," Craven explained.

The N.C. Wildlife Commission wants to hear from the public about the Piedmont bear hunting season.

The Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown campus on Thursday, October 10.

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