Black bear population on the rise in Eastern North Carolina
EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA - Black bears are making a comeback in North Carolina. The North Carolina Wildlife Commission said there were only about 2,000 black bears in eastern North Carolina in 1980. That number has increased to over 10,000 bears today. Wildlife officials are considering changes to bear hunting laws because the population is getting so large. One change for this year is hunters will be allowed to use bait during the November and December seasons. Other changes being considered are increasing the limit of one bear a hunter can kill each season. The bears also are found more places. Outside of the mountains 30 years ago, they were confined to the far eastern North Carolina. Now they have spread west to near Interstate 95.