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California bear-hunting season closes with quota met

December 17, 2009 | 10:39 am

A black bear sits in a tree.

California's black-bear-hunting season came to a close Wednesday when the annual hunt quota of 1,700 adult bears was met.

The season began in late summer and closes on either the last Sunday in December or when the quota is reached.

According to the California Department of Fish and Game, data indicate that the state's bear population has increased in recent years, and that the animals are being observed in areas where they were not seen 50 years ago along the Central Coast and some mountain ranges of Southern California.

The department maintains that bear hunting, like deer hunting, is a necessary management tool and that its annual quota does not jeopardize an estimated state population of 25,000 to 30,000 animals.

Not surprisingly, wildlife protection groups such as Big Wildlife continue to denounce the hunt.

"It is terribly sad that more than 1,700 bears lost their lives in California simply for 'sport,'" Brian Vincent, communications director with Big Wildlife, told Outposts. "There is nothing sporting about chasing down bears with packs of dogs, running the terrified animal up a tree and blowing the bear away so some hunter can have a throw rug in front of the fireplace."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A black bear. Credit: Michael Seraphin / Colorado Division of Wildlife

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