CHURCHVILLE — Facing a black bear population still surging despite a record-setting season by Virginia bear hunters last year, state wildlife officials this week voted to extend bear hunting season in the 11-county region including Augusta County.|
Bear hunters last year broke their own 2006 record, taking in more than 2,200 bears.
"Despite that, our population is still growing," said David Kocka, district wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
But in Churchville, two attacks on pet goats left their owner with bears on the brain.
"Every noise I heard I thought, 'Oh my God, it's back'," said Jan Harman, who found bear tracks surrounding her chicken coop and goat pen Sunday morning, shortly after her goats disappeared.
"We bottle-fed them," Harman said, remembering Noah and Belle, her 110-pound Nigerian dwarf goats.
A black bear, previously spotted by neighbors, first struck under stealth of night Tuesday — amid a storm — nabbing Noah without leaving a trace. Belle disappeared overnight Saturday.
Labels: bear, hunting, The News Virginian, wildlife
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