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Record Massachusetts bear harvest in 2009

From the Massachusetts Department of Game and Fish

-- During the September and November 2009 bear seasons, licensed Massachusetts hunters took a record total of 168 black bears, breaking the 2003 record of 153 bears.

During the 17-day September season 140 bears were taken, and a record November black bear harvest of 28 more taken during the 18-day season. Last year, the total number of bears taken was 100.

The breakdown of figures by county includes 60 bears taken in Berkshire County, 42 in Franklin, 27 in Hampden, 35 in Hampshire, 1 in Middlesex County, and 3 in Worcester County. The largest field-dressed bear to be checked in weighed 357 pounds and was taken in Blandford with a rifle.

The second largest field-dressed bear weighed 301 pounds and was taken in Otis taken with archery equipment.

Bear hunters are reminded that their 2010 bear permit application and $5 application fee are due July 16, 2010. Hunters with paper licenses will find their permit application on their hunting or sporting licenses. The application and fee must be sent in to MassWildlife's Field Headquarters in Westborough.

Online license holders must apply and pay for their bear permit application by going through the MassOutdoors system at www.mass.gov/massoutdoors. More information about black bears is available at http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/living/living_with_bears.htm

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