Bear Kill Down in California's
Key Bear Counties
Bear kill totals slackened last year in some key north state counties, the Department of Fish and Game's Region 1 office reported when releasing hunting season harvest numbers.

Statewide, hunters bagged 1,629 California black bears in 2001, slightly above the average of 1,611 for the previous nine years. The kill in 2000 was 1,796.

Under current bear hunting regulations, the fall season closes near the end of December or when the number of bear tags returned to the DFG by successful hunters reaches the 1,500 mark. The final kill always exceeds 1,500 because of the late arrival of tags.

Hunters who bag a bear are required to have the DFG validate their bear tag and must submit the bear skull so Fish and Game can extract a small tooth for age analysis.

The 2001 totals show a significant decline in the kill in three prime bear hunting counties of the state — Shasta, with a harvest drop from 179 to 104; Siskiyou, down from 181 to 102; and, Humboldt, which fell from 130 to 110. The three are consistently at or near the list of top bear producers in California.

For 2001, Trinity County was the leading bear kill county in the state with a reported take of 198. Trinity's 2000 harvest number was 190.

In second place this year was Tulare County, with a reported kill of 130. Tulare's count in 2000 was 133. Mendocino County had the third highest kill in the state at 122, up from 93.

Other north state bear kill statistics for 2001, by county, include Del Norte, down from 32 to 18; Glenn, down from 33 to 18; Lassen, down from 19 to 13; Modoc, down from 6 to 3; Plumas, up from 49 to 82; Butte, up from 38 to 39; and, Tehama, up from 65 to 79.

Fish and Game said 797 hunters reported using dogs to help bag a bear; 91 used archery equipment; 594 bagged a bear while deer hunting; and, 92 used the services of a hunting guide.

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