MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists say the state's first split bear hunting season was a success.
Hunters took 557 bears during the 85 days the 2013 bear hunting season was open.
But the success was more than just the number of bears shot by hunters.
Fish and Wildlife Director Mark Scott says 10,000 hunters bought the special tag that allowed them to hunt bear between Sept. 1 and Nov. 15, the first time there has been such a requirement. A regular hunting license still allows hunters to shoot bear for the first nine days of the rifle deer hunting season.
Scott says the information will help the state better manage the bear population, estimated at just under 6,000 animals, the top limit of the state's long-term goal.
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