Georgia mulls changing rules for controversial black bear hunts

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As Georgia wildlife officials draft hunting regulations for the next two years, they will be considering whether to change the rules for controversial black bear hunts in central Georgia.

The first open hunt for bears on private land in Bibb, Houston and Twiggs counties was held in 2011, when 34 bears were killed, all in Twiggs County near Tarversville.

In 2012, 14 bears were killed, most of them in the same area but one in eastern Bibb County.

Both years, multiple bears were killed illegally, and at least half of those harvested were females. That concerned local conservationists and some game managers. After all, Georgia has set out to protect this group of bears, by far the smallest of Georgia's three bear populations.