Vermont bear hunters took record number of animals in 2019


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says bear hunters in the state had the best season ever.

Preliminary numbers released Thursday showed that hunters took a record 750 black bears during the two-part, early and late hunting seasons.

The previous high was 728 animals in 2004 and the average over the last 10 years was 597.

Vermont bear biologist Forrest Hammond says the results are consistent with the goal of maintaining the state’s bear population to between 4,500 to 6,000 bears.

“Fifty years ago Vermont had less than 1,500 bears, and they were found mostly in the mountains and northeastern quarter of the state,” Hammond said in a statement issued by the department. “Today we have about 5,000 bears in Vermont, and they are found pretty much throughout the state.”

Bear hunters continue to provide information that is valuable for managing the species including bringing their bear into one of 150 game check stations and by completing hunter surveys.

Each successful bear hunter is required to submit a pre-molar tooth from their bear which will provide information on the age of the animal. Bear ages will be posted on Fish and Wildlife’s website in early May.