On November 29, 1999 the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced that bear season was closed because they had received 1,500 returned tags from successful hunters. Just two weeks before this the DFG reported the following information.
Hunters are inching their way toward an early, quota-driven closing of California's black bear season for the fourth year in a row, according to the Department of Fish and Game.
Tags returned by successful bear hunters through Wednesday numbered 1,218, fewer than 300 short of the kill quota of 1,500. At the same date last year, the count was 1,179.
Fish and Game sold 18,000 bear tags this year under a system that brings an end to the hunting season on the last Sunday in December Dec 26 this year or when the number of tags returned by successful hunters hits the 1,500 mark.
Last year, the reported bear kill reached the quota on Dec 7.
Hunters who kill a black bear must submit the skull to the DFG for extraction of a tooth and for validation of the bear tag. The collected teeth are examined to learn each bear's age and the numbers are averaged to keep tabs on the productivity and general health of the state bear population.
Fish and Game estimates there are at least 25,000 bears in California, a number that has been steady to rising for several years.
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