- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Bear hunting is underway in all or parts of 16 West Virginia counties.

Hunting with or without dogs began Thursday in those 16 counties and runs through Saturday. The counties open fully or partially to bear hunting include Barbour, Braxton, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Mineral, Monroe, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster.

From Oct. 4 through Oct. 10, counties open for bear hunting with or without dogs are Boone, Fayette, Kanawha and Logan.

Colin Carpenter is the black bear project leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. He says the counties that are open to hunting need additional bears to be bagged to achieve management objectives.

Carpenter says hard and soft mast crops are more abundant than last year, meaning bears are scattered.

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