Black Bear Season Closes in California - NBC Bay Area

Black Bear Season Closes in California



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    You might have read this headline and thought it was code for a fashion tidbit or some sporting news, but it's really about hunting black bears in California and that the season is now over.  Seriously.

    The state Department of Fish and Game shut it down after verifying 1,700 kills.

    There are approximately 30,000 black bears in the Golden State right now -- double the number from 25 years ago.

    The Department of Fish and Game sells more than 20,000 tags a year. That's how many people intend to go out to hunt the bears.  The season starts in the August and ends whenever the number gets to the magic number, which is 1,700 this year.

    A quick perusal of the county by county kill numbers shows the Northern California counties of Humboldt, Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, Tulare and Tuolumne top the list.

    There was only one bear killed in the nine county Bay Area region in 2008.  It was in Napa.

    Los Angeles County had 21.  

    Fish and Game say the hunting rules are clear and those who break them can go to jail.

    Wildlife advocates used the closing announcement to condemn that hunting season all together. 

    ”Bear hunting is bad news for bears." aid Brian Vincent, Communications Director with Big Wildlife, an international wildlife advocacy organization. "Instead of letting trophy hunters turn these magnificent animals into throw rugs by the fireplace or a head on the wall, the agency should provide vigorous protections for bears."