- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2017

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says the state’s bear hunters had a successful 2016 season.

Preliminary numbers show hunters took 697 bear during the fall season.

Vermont Bear Biologist Forrest Hammond says the number is higher than the 10-year average of 520 bears and it is consistent with the department’s goal of stabilizing the bear population between 4,500 and 6,000 bears.

Biologists say many large bears were reported with 21 weighing more than 300 pounds and several more than 400 pounds.

The information gleaned from the bear when hunters report to game check stations helps provide information that is valuable for managing the species. Starting this fall hunters must also submit a tooth from their bear that will provide information on the age of the animal.

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