Bear hunting season proposed for southeast Arkansas

Friday, April 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Fort Smith-AP) -- The state Game and Fish Commission has proposed a limited bear hunting season that would start as early as next year in parts of southeastern Arkansas.

The population of black bears in southeastern Arkansas has surged in recent years to just nearly one thousand. Arkansas is home to between three-thousand and five-thousand black bears altogether.

The bear population in southeastern Arkansas has grown to a point where offering a limited hunting season wouldn't harm the health of the species. Also, commission officials said that as the population outgrows its habitat range, bears begin to wander in search food and new territory. Wayward bears can gorge on farmers' crops and beekeepers' honey stocks.

The commission is to decide at its meeting next month whether to open the season.