Flickr user Alan Vernon.
Update, September 30: You can now apply for one of the ten tags allocated to Horry County. Applications must be postmarked by November 4th.
You must have a 2011-2012 hunting license and big game permit to be eligible. The nonrefundable application fee is $10 and tags are $25 for residents and $100 for non-residents.
For more details about applying and the new coastal black bear hunting season, you can read this write-up by The Sun News.
Update, September 16: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has approved the 2 week black bear hunting season for Horry County.
The season starts on December 1st and also includes Georgetown and Williamsburg counties. More information about bear hunting in South Carolina can be found on the DNR website.
The Sun News has also published a wire story with more details. That's here.
Update, September 2: The coastal bear hunting season is proposed to be during a 15-day span of time between December 1st and 15th and is limited to 10 tags for each of the three included counties.
Reactions were mixed during a public hearing on Wednesday. Deanna Ruth, Coastal Bear Specialist with the Department of Natural Resource, stressed that public opinion is still be considered untli September 9, 2011. If you'd like to express yours, email Amanda Stroud at firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail at SC DNR, Attn: Amanada Stroud, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC, 29202,
First report, August 19: For 50 years bear hunting in Horry County has been illegal, but that might all change soon as the S.C. Department of Natural Resources are looking into changing the laws.
While we are not overrun with Black Bears,controlled hunting may help to alleviate some of the issues faced as new developments in the area reach further into the wooded areas of Horry County. New developments are helping the bears come into areas they haven't been seen since the 1700's. Horry County records 50 to 100 bear sightings a year.
Some conservation groups claim that, while the Black Bear is not endangered in the area the numbers of bears may be quite low. Some estimates say their are as few as 500 in the area, while avid hunters disagree with that number.
The DNR is thinking about releasing 10 tags to limit the number of bears killed by hunters in a two week period. Head on over to The Sun News for the full write-up and find out what other couties in the area may be allowing Black Bear hunting.