MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Bear hunting season is opening in three South Carolina counties.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the coastal black bear season starts Saturday for 30 hunters in Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties.

The hunting season was brought back last year for the first time in 50 years because of the growing bear population.

Ten hunters in each county are authorized for the hunt. About 280 people applied for the licenses.

Deanna Ruth with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says most of those who apply for the hunting tags saw bears on their property.

Hunters cannot use dogs and can only shoot beers that weigh more than 100 pounds.

The season ends Dec. 15.