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SCDNR News

Opportunities to hunt black bears expand in Upstate

October 4, 2019

A big black bear turns slightly, to see just who is taking this photograph at the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge. (Hillebrand, Steve, USFWS)

A big black bear turns slightly, to see just who is taking this photograph at the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge. (Hillebrand, Steve, USFWS)

Hunters in South Carolina will see additional opportunities to hunt black bears this season.

For the first time, private land in the southern portions of Oconee, Pickens and Greenville counties (south of Game Zone 1) and all of Spartanburg County (Game Zone 2) will have a bear season.

This portion of Game Zone 2 will open for still hunting only (no dogs) on Oct. 17, and the season will potentially run until Oct. 30.

A harvest quota of 20 bears has been set for this area. If the quota is met prior to Oct. 30, the season will close 24 hours following a season closure notice by SCDNR via dnr.sc.gov, social media, and email alerts.

This additional opportunity is a direct result of the healthy and robust bear population in the mountains and upper Piedmont that continues to grow and expand its range.

Bear season in Game Zone 1, the northern portions of Oconee, Pickens and Greenville counties, is unchanged from years past. Hunters in Game Zone 1 have a one week still hunting season from Oct. 17 – 23 and a one week party dog season from Oct. 24 – 30.

Hunters in the Pee Dee and Grand Strand area have opportunities to bear hunt, as well.

A portion of Game Zone 4, including Horry, Georgetown, Marion and Williamsburg counties will open for still hunting only (no dogs) on Oct. 17, and the season will potentially run until Oct. 30.

A harvest quota of 30 bears has been set for this area. If the quota is met before Oct. 30, a season closure notice will be sent out.

Hunters are responsible for monitoring season status and all harvested bears must be reported by midnight on day of harvest. Hunters can report harvested bears or check the season status by calling: 1-844-721-2327 or by going to http://www.dnr.sc.gov/bearcheck.