Coastal South Carolina bear hunt proves a bust

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The first sanctioned black bear hunting season in more than half a century ended with just one bear bagged in three counties along South Carolina's northern coast.

      The (Columbia) State reported Satuday that the experience from the first year of bear hunting in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties is that more of the animals will die in vehicle collisions. About a dozen die on the highways of the three counties each year.

      The state Department of Natural Resources approved a two-week bear season starting Dec. 1, but limited licenses to just 10 hunters in each of the three counties.

      It was the first black bear coastal hunting season since it was banned in the 1950s.

      Bear hunting is allowed for two October weeks in Oconee, Pickens and Greenville counties.