Black Bear Hunting

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Wildlife Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday to create the state's first black bear hunting season, pending legislative approval.

The House and Senate already have approved overwhelmingly a plan to create a black bear hunting license.

The state license would cost $100 for residents and $500 for non-residents, and the number of black bears killed in one year would not exceed 100.

Wildlife researchers have estimated Oklahoma's black bear population at between 700 and 800, mostly in and around the Ouchita National Forest region of LeFlore, Latimer and McCurtain counties.

But some wildlife conservation officials fear Oklahoma is moving too quickly without having a firm number on how many bears there are in the state.

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