Bear hunting to expand in Upstate

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(WSPA) – South Carolina wildlife officials say a growing bear population has allowed for expanded hunting.

The state Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) says private land in southern Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties and all of Spartanburg County will have a bear season. 

SCDNR says the game zone will open Oct. 17 for hunting without dogs. The season could run through Oct. 30 depending on when a harvest quota of 20 bears is met. 

“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,” DNR said in a release.

An estimated 600 bears live in the area that includes the Upstate, according to a 2018 report presented to state lawmakers

The hunting season remains unchanged in the northern Greenville, Oconee and Pickens counties.  

Hunters are required to have a hunting license and big game permit, along with a bear tag. 

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