The state of South Carolina just conducted its first coastal black bear hunt since “Leave It To Beaver” was a hit, but apparently someone must have tipped off the bears beforehand.

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The bears did better than the hunters in the first black bear hunting season on South Carolina’s coast in more than a half-century. Only one of the 30 hunters who drew tags to hunt bears this month in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties managed to bag one. A 197-pound female was killed Wednesday in an agricultural field in Georgetown County, said Deanna Ruth, a wildlife biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

Some animal protection groups complained when the natural resources agency approved the first coastal bear season since the 1950s. They said that even though the bear population has grown, it isn’t large enough to handle hunting pressure.

But if the first-year experience is any indication, many more bears will die in vehicle collisions than from hunting. Most years, a dozen or more coastal bears die on the highways, with a peak of 41 in 2007. Ruth expects hunters will do better in future seasons. This year’s season was approved in September, giving hunters little time to scout the woods. Still, the agency expected hunters to get five to eight bears this season.