State wildlife officials are taking another stab at legalizing a bear hunting season.
A proposal to allow a black bear season in Latimer, Le Flore, Pushmataha and McCurtain counties is included as part of the annual public hearings on hunting and fishing rule changes. The public hearings on those proposals are scheduled in towns around the state beginning Jan. 12.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation once agains is proposing a restricted bear season where a total of only 20 black bears could be killed. Baiting and use of dogs would be forbidden.
State wildlife officials say the biological data supports a bear hunt, as the bear population is growing and nuisance complaints are increasing in those southeastern Oklahoma counties.
It is the same proposal that state wildlife officials made last year but could not get enough political support to pass it. Any bear season will have to be approved by state lawmakers.
Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, sponsored the bear hunting legislation last year. His bill made it out of legislative committee but didn’t make it to the House floor for a vote.
Dorman said the House leadership wouldn’t put it on the calendar for a vote of the full House.
Will there be any political support this time around?