Fewer bears were killed in North Carolina's hunting season, meaning that there could be a bumper crop of cubs born in the coming spring.
But the Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://bit.ly/W5mry2) Thursday that a spike in bear numbers could further strain bear-human relations in the mountains, where wildlife experts say the bruin population is already at about the peak of what most residents are willing to tolerate.
Bear biologist Mike Carraway says the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission already gets hundreds of bear nuisance complaints a year.
Carraway says cubs typically are born in January and emerge from dens with their mothers in the spring.
Preliminary numbers show that 698 bears were killed in the bear hunting season that ended Tuesday. That's a 28 percent drop compared to 2011.
Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com