Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A seemingly responsible Kentucky Bear hunt has just concluded with 11 Bruins killed out of an estimated 300-500 population............Recovering and recolonizing the state since 2002, Bears primarily occupy the eastern portion of Kentucky .........The Kentucky Wildlife agency expects the bear population to expand from the Pine Mountain area northward through the mountainous habitat over the coming decades.


FRANKFORT, KY. — State wildlife officials are reporting that hunters killed 11 black bears last weekend, including one that set a record for its size.

Doug Adkins of Jenkins, one of more than 350 hunters who bought permits this year, killed the state-record bear estimated at better than 450 pounds in Letcher County. Wildlife officials reported that all the bears killed came from Harlan and Letcher counties.

Bears are utilizing eastern Kentucky

Nine of the 11 bears killed on Saturday and Sunday were males.

The hunting season was scheduled to continue through Monday but was closed down Sunday night because hunters had reached the maximum number of bears allowed to be killed.

This was the fourth year that Kentucky has had a bear season. Hunters killed no bears the first year, two the second and four the third.

Kentucky bear population healthy, growing

Carrie Stambaugh;

ASHLAND The Black Bear population is healthy and growing in eastern Kentucky, says the state’s top bear biologist. He predicted more residents will come into contact with the animals in coming years as their range continues to expand and that bear hunting season and bag limits will also be increased.

Steven Dobey is the program coordinator of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife’s state-wide bear program. It began in 2002 primarily to track and document the occurrence and range of bears in Kentucky but has expanded its mission to include the social dynamics of coexisting in habitats with people.

Dobey said the decade of research has determined that bears live in all of Kentucky’s easternmost counties stretching from McCreary County in the south to Lewis County in the north and eastward along the borders of Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

However, the highest concentrations of bear are found along the Pine Mountain Corridor in Bell Harlan, Letcher and Pike counties but the number of bears in McCreary County, particularly inside the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, “has really taken off in the last four years,” said Dobey. He added that research has found the bears in McCreary County are genetically distinct from those along the Pine Mountain corridor having descended from a separate subpopulation than their easternmost cousins.

“All these bears we have are from natural range expansion,” Dobey said dispelling a popular myth. “We did not stock bears in Kentucky unlike turkeys, river otter, and elks. We did not restore these they did it on their own.” Black bears, he said are the only big game species in Kentucky that have naturally returned from low numbers without assistance from the KDFWR, or any other wildlife agency. This makes bears “a true wildlife success story.”

Dobey estimated Kentucky has less than 500 black bears – far fewer than the populations in its neighboring southern Appalachian states – but that number is rising, albeit slowly. “Bears have one of the slowest reproductive rates of all large mammals. People, they want to associate them with deer, turkey and elk (populations) that explode and go everywhere but bears just aren’t like that – their reproductive rates are very, very slow,” he said.

Based on the KDFWR’s research, which is conducted in a cooperative project with the University of Kentucky’s forestry graduate program, the bear population is expected to expand from the Pine Mountain area northward through the mountainous habitat over the coming decades. “Bears need oak forests to survive and prefer sparsely populated areas,” Dobey said. “How far they can expand,” he added, “depends on the availability of habitat as well as the social carrying capacity. Bears can only live where they are tolerated.”

Dobey believes bears will stay inside the eastern mountain region but expand northward toward the Ashland area. Populations inside the northern areas of Daniel Boone National Forest will also likely continue to grow. Bears can already be found in these areas, he said, but the numbers are currently low.

No comments: