- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department says bear hunters took 669 black bears during the 2015 hunting season, higher than the past 10-year average of 502 bears taken annually.

Fish and Wildlife bear biologist Forrest Hammond says the number is consistent with the statewide goal of stabilizing the bear population at between 4,500 and 6,000 bears.

The Vermont bear season is split into two seasons, an early and late season.

Hammond says warmer than average hunting conditions, a lack of heavy snow cover and an abundance of wild apples and some beech nuts caused many bears to delay entering their dens. He says that allowed for more bears than normal to be taken at the end of the late bear season.


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