- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife says hunters took 567 bears during the state’s 2014 hunting seasons.

The state says the final bear harvest was nearly identical to the 2013 harvest, with 10 additional bears being taken in 2014.

Vermont bear biologist Forrest Hammond says the hunt total is consistent with the goal of stabilizing the bear population at between 4,500 and 6,000 animals.

Hammond says that while the 2014 bear numbers were nearly identical to 2013, hunters were much more successful during the early days of the hunt with 263 bears taken in September, nearly double last year’s September total.

Hammond also says that nearly 2,000 more hunters than last year paid an extra $5 for an early season bear tag, bringing the total to 12,390.

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