Sarah Cross

Managing Black Bears on a Public Game Land in North Carolina: Are the Desires of Hunters Compatible with Unrestricted Public Hunting?

We used mail surveys to examine attitudes and methods of black bear (Ursus americanus) hunters on Van Swamp Game Land (Van Swamp). Van Swamp was located in eastern North Carolina and managed as an open public hunting area, with no restriction on hunter numbers or vehicular access. Reported bear harvest was higher in 2001 (22) than 2002 (4) or 2003 (8). Hunters in all three years generally believed that Van Swamp had “about the right number” of hunters (≥57%) and that “too many” bears had been harvested (≥38%). Retention of hunters from year to year was high (≥70%) and, generally, a...