West Virginia hunters argue against guided bear hunts

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A group of West Virginia hunters opposes a bill to allow guided bear hunts but supports lowering the limit on bucks for deer hunters from three to two.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that more than 300 people packed the midwinter meeting of the state Natural Resources Commission on Sunday.

The commission has no influence over legislation, but Don Radcliff, president of the West Virginia Bear Hunters Association, said the group would have protested at the Legislature if lawmakers had met during the weekend.

Several hunters argued the bill would end traditional bear-hunting methods and say it was drafted out of a conflict of interest, which the family of the state senator who sponsored it denied.

Proponents of limiting bucks to one or two said hunters currently have to travel out of state or to the southern, bowhunting-only counties to hunt mature bucks.

Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

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