Bear harvest data?

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delacroix

Senior Member
I searched around some. I did not find any detailed harvest data for GA bears. I want to find out if any are ever killed on a certain youth quota hunt. I will just call DNR, but it raises the question.

Does GA DNR publish bear harvest data?

tl;dr No bears taken on youth quota so far
 
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They publish data but it only comes available seems like hardly ever I come across 2016 data with harvest numbers of male and female bears per county. That's where I figured out that I needed to expand my hunt range over towards rabun co. Due to the number of male bears killed versus other counties. Gilmer also did well and a couple other counties that stood out but can't remember them right off. I will see if I can locate that website again.
 

Rabun

Senior Member
That's what I have been looking for as well. As regulated as they are it can't be that difficult to compile those numbers.
 

jbogg

Senior Member
With the mast failure last year coupled with hunting over bait being legal on private ground for the first time in the Northern Zone I was certain that it would be a record year for the number of bears taken, However, with just a few weeks left before the season closed at the end of December on NF I was told by a buddy in the know that we were still a little shy of the record. Seems hard to believe, so I too am very interested in seeing the final tally and how the numbers break down.
 

FMBear

Senior Member
Updated! Our bear biologist put up 2009-2018 data on the website, thanks Adam!

https://georgiawildlife.com/harvest-summaries#bear
This is EXCELLENT! Great having all these seasons of data.
If overthinking burned calories, I'd probably be dead, but I'm going to have fun reviewing the numbers by county and WMA and compare to my scouting and hunting notes from the last 9 seasons.
Right off the bat, for 2018, I see more sows were killed on WMA's then boars. So I'm already wondering if the additional food plot management keeps the sows in those areas more for the better/easier food access, while the boars are more focused on mast and protein higher up and in the ridge tops throughout the forest. Or is it also contributed to the more secluded areas of the forest and less foot and vehicle traffic the WMAs see.
But again, its great this data is finally out there!
 

jbogg

Senior Member
Chattahoochee WMA harvest was about the same from 2017 to 2018 with 14 total bears taken, but in the same two year period Blue Ridge WMA went from 10 to 0. Coopers Creek went from 8 to 2. Swallow Creek had a total of 1 bear taken all year. So, on almost 75,000 acres on all three of those WMAs combined a total of 3 bear were reported all season. Hard to believe these numbers unless there was some major under reporting, or all the bear ventured off the WMAs due to no mast and were killed on private over corn. Almost Twice as many bears killed in 2018 with 515 total killed by hunters vs 299 in 2017. Seems like there may not be as many bear out there as we think.
 
Has Georgia considered changing their check in process for bears? It’s crazy. I have never heard of anything so crazy as having to have a warden visually check the bear out. And then the fact that the state is about 10 years behind any other state in bear data. Most locals don’t kill them because it’s such a hassle to do it by law or they just gut shoot them and let them run off and die because they are such a nuisance.
 
Has Georgia considered changing their check in process for bears? It’s crazy. I have never heard of anything so crazy as having to have a warden visually check the bear out. And then the fact that the state is about 10 years behind any other state in bear data. Most locals don’t kill them because it’s such a hassle to do it by law or they just gut shoot them and let them run off and die because they are such a nuisance.
I was told they have no plans of changes. Major pain of having to bring head and hide out to have checked. My guess is there harvest data reflects half to 3/4 of actual kills each year. Heck I seen 3 road kill bears in one county and only had 1 showing.
 
I was told they have no plans of changes. Major pain of having to bring head and hide out to have checked. My guess is there harvest data reflects half to 3/4 of actual kills each year. Heck I seen 3 road kill bears in one county and only had 1 showing.
I agree. They have never had data anywhere close to what the harvest is. Let alone the shear numbers that are shot and left. It’s stupid to have to pack out a 300 pound bear then go back and carry a 100lb hide and head out. A simple tooth like any other state or province is all they need.
 
Chattahoochee WMA harvest was about the same from 2017 to 2018 with 14 total bears taken, but in the same two year period Blue Ridge WMA went from 10 to 0. Coopers Creek went from 8 to 2. Swallow Creek had a total of 1 bear taken all year. So, on almost 75,000 acres on all three of those WMAs combined a total of 3 bear were reported all season. Hard to believe these numbers unless there was some major under reporting, or all the bear ventured off the WMAs due to no mast and were killed on private over corn. Almost Twice as many bears killed in 2018 with 515 total killed by hunters vs 299 in 2017. Seems like there may not be as many bear out there as we think.
Chattahoochee is much more isolated from private lands than the others. Bad acorns drove them lower and to feeders-same thing deer do. Acorn crop helps the kills drastically. You can look back and almost see the years where we had heavy mast-low kills vs low mast-more kills.
Plus, there are anomalies regarding the weather. 2018 had a lot of rainy hunts for the coopers creek dates-I know because I got rained out nearly every weekend.

Perhaps most telling is that Chattahoochee has the early rifle hunt, which hopefully the DNR will see is the best way to control bear populations regardless of mast production.

Plenty of bears. Saw two big healthy mates this morning near Vogel. Big, healthy, big bears. I say mates, because I saw no cubs, I’m assuming it’s about mating time...
 
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jbogg

Senior Member
Chattahoochee is much more isolated from private lands than the others. Bad acorns drove them lower and to feeders-same thing deer do. Acorn crop helps the kills drastically. You can look back and almost see the years where we had heavy mast-low kills vs low mast-more kills.
Plus, there are anomalies regarding the weather. 2018 had a lot of rainy hunts for the coopers creek dates-I know because I got rained out nearly every weekend.

Perhaps most telling is that Chattahoochee has the early rifle hunt, which hopefully the DNR will see is the best way to control bear populations regardless of mast production.

Plenty of bears. Saw two big healthy mates this morning near Vogel. Big, healthy, big bears. I say mates, because I saw no cubs, I’m assuming it’s about mating time...
That makes sense. The few acorns that dropped last fall were gone pretty quick. Lots of bears moved off of the WMAs and were taken on private ground. Still hard to believe a total of three bears were killed all season on three mountain WMAs totaling 75,000 which normally hold a large number of bears. Swallow Creek probably has almost as many bears as Chattahoochee but far less hunting pressure.
 
Chattahoochee WMA harvest was about the same from 2017 to 2018 with 14 total bears taken, but in the same two year period Blue Ridge WMA went from 10 to 0. Coopers Creek went from 8 to 2. Swallow Creek had a total of 1 bear taken all year. So, on almost 75,000 acres on all three of those WMAs combined a total of 3 bear were reported all season. Hard to believe these numbers unless there was some major under reporting, or all the bear ventured off the WMAs due to no mast and were killed on private over corn. Almost Twice as many bears killed in 2018 with 515 total killed by hunters vs 299 in 2017. Seems like there may not be as many bear out there as we think.
I know of at least 8 killed in and around the community I live in, didn't affect them one bit. Everyone is having trouble with them right now just like every year. Tearing out trash cans and feed rooms. Just wait to the sweet corn starts coming in, they will ruin it all, happens every year.
 
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