Hunters killed a record number of 1,183 bears in 2020, marking a new state record. That's a 12% increase from New Hampshire’s previous record.
Andrew Timmins, Fish and Game’s bear project leader, says a number of factors, including the pandemic and a drought, played a role.
“People were recreating a little more, there was more interest in hunting just because people weren’t at work as much, and they were at home.”
Bear hunting licenses increased by about 15 percent last year.
And Timmins says, last year’s drought meant there was a smaller apple and berry crop - two staples of bears’ summer diets.
Acorns, though, were plentiful.
“When you get very little food or just one species producing, bears become a little bit more predictable, or a lot more predictable. In a year like this when there’s just acorns, if you’re a hunter, you’re going to be hunting in acorns. That’s where the bears are,” he said.
Vermont also reported an increase in the number of bears hunted last year.