DWR: Southwest Virginia hunters harvested 300+ black bears in 2023-34 season

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has released totals from the 2023-24 hunting season, complete with figures for total black bears harvested by county.

The DWR reports totals for bear and deer harvests increased, which was expected because of a white acorn scarcity causing both to increase their movement and visibility.

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Outdoors Appalachia

Across Virginia, the agency reports 2,892 bears were harvested during the season. The DWR stated that represents a 29.6% increase from the state total last year.

In the eight Southwest Virginia counties within News Channel 11’s coverage area, 306 black bears were harvested during the season. Wise County had the most local bear harvests reported to the DWR with 53.

Below is a breakdown of the bear harvest totals in Southwest Virginia counties, as provided by the DWR:

  • Buchanan – 50

  • Dickenson – 34

  • Lee – 18

  • Russell – 34

  • Scott – 28

  • Smyth – 44

  • Washington – 45

  • Wise – 53

The agency provides hunting summaries for bears, deer and turkey on its website.

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