The 2015 bear season was a very good one in the Upstate’s mountains, the third-highest on record according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Tammy Wactor, a biologist with SCDNR, said that hunters harvested 91 bears during the short, two-part season, with the biggest bear taken being a 596-pound Greenville County bruin taken by Kevin Staton on a dog hunt. It is the second-largest bruin ever killed in South Carolina.
According to Wactor, Oconee County hunters had the best season, taking 40 bears, followed by Pickens County with 28 and Greenville County with 23.
Wactor said that that with just an average mast crop this fall, bears had to move around to find food, and hunters found bears in pockets that offered the best food sources.
Of Oconee County’s 40 bears nine were taking during the week-long still-hunt season — seven boars and two sows. During the week-long dog hunt, the 21 bears were divided between 21 boars and 10 sows.
In Pickens County, seven boars and four sows were killed during the still-hunt season, compared to four boars and 13 sows during the dog-hunt season.
In Greenville County, hunters took 13 boars and four sows during the still-hunt season and four boars and two sows during the dog-hunt season.