The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced last fall’s bear hunting season yielded the second highest take on record. Hunters in New York bagged 1,358 black bears according to the DEC April 7 press release.
"With abundant natural foods this past year, bears were in great condition, and we heard of several hunters who took bears weighing more than 500 pounds dressed.” — DEC Commissioner Joe Martens
The numbers were down for the Adirondack region with a total take of 380. The five-year average yield in the Adirondacks is 515. DEC attributes this decrease to a lowered harvest during early bear season, although the take during the regular season increased by 13 percent.
The abundance last fall of fleshy fruits, such as apples and berries, the soft mast of a bear’s diet, made for poor hunting during the mid-September to mid-October early season.
Warren county hunters brought in 30 bears, broken down by town as follows:
- Bolton — 4
- Hague — 3
- Johnsburg — 6
- Lake George — 2
- Lake Luzerne — 1
- Stony Creek — 9
- Thurman — 2
- Warrensburg — 3
Earlier this year, DEC released its draft Bear Management Plan for 2014-2024 and invites public comment. The goals of DEC’s Bear Management Plan are to maintain the bear population at acceptable levels and minimize human-bear conflicts, promote bear hunting as one management tool, and foster understanding about bear ecology.