TWRA expects record black bear harvest

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (AP) -- A state wildlife biologist predicts a record number of black bears will be taken during the current hunting season.

David Brandenburg in Morristown, with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, said Monday there were 246 bears shot in the first part of the season.

There are two periods during which dogs can be used to hunt bear -- one in mid-November, the other during the first two weeks of December.

Brandenburg said an archery season was also added this year, coinciding with the archery season for deer.

Last year's harvest was 337 and Brandenburg expects more than 400 bears to be taken this year.

The biggest harvest on record was in 1997 when 371 bears were killed.

Brandenburg said that was a year of very poor food, or mast, forcing bears to roam in search of food, exposing them to hunters.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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