Wednesday, April 13, 2016

DEC Announces 2015 Bear Hunting Results

black_bear_mammalNew York bear hunters killed 1,715 black bears during the 2015 hunting seasons, the second largest bear harvest on record in New York, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Only the 2003 harvest (1,863) surpassed the 2015 year’s take.

In the Northern Zone, a total of 583 bears were killed, 27 percent above the recent five-year average. Based primarily on cyclers of food availability, bear harvest in the Northern Zone tends to alternate between strong harvests during the early season one year followed by strong harvests during the regular season the next, according to DEC wildlife biologists. This year, hunters were more successful during the regular season, taking 253 bears, whereas 183 bears were taken during the early season.

Hunters killed a total of 1,132 black bears in the Southern Zone, approximately the same as in 2014, but about 30 percent greater than the recent five-year average take. Most bears (596) were taken during the regular season, followed by the bow season (327 bears). Hunters killed 192 bears during the early season, a decrease from 2014 but a significant portion of the total bear harvest. In those WMUs that have an early bear season, 36 percent of the total number of bears taken in those WMUs occurred during the early season.

bear hunting resultsNotable Numbers

•One bear per 3.0 square miles — the bear harvest density in Wildlife Management Unit 3K which includes portions of Sullivan and Orange counties. Within WMU 3K, the town of Tusten in Sullivan County produced one bear for every 2.2 square miles.

•179 — the number of bears reported taken on the opening day of the regular firearms season in the Southern Zone, representing 19 percent of the total Southern Zone bear harvest.

•520 pounds — the heaviest dressed weight bear reported to DEC in 2015, taken in the Town of Forestburg, Sullivan County. A 450-pound dressed weight bear was reported taken in the Town of Woodstock in Ulster County and three bears from Genesee, Orange, and St. Lawrence Counties dressed between 420-445 pounds. Scaled weights of dressed bears were submitted for 25 percent of the bears taken in 2015.

•17 — The number of tagged bears reported in the 2015 harvest. These included five bears that were originally tagged in Pennsylvania and two from New Jersey. The remainder were tagged in New York for a variety of reasons including research, nuisance response, relocated urban bears, or released rehabilitated bears.

A complete summary of the 2015 bear harvest with results and maps by county, town, and WMU is available at DEC’s website.

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7 Responses

  1. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Poor bears! We kill them to check their populations because we just don’t want too many of them to flourish because then they become nuisance bears and we sure as heck don’t want them to get too cozy with our bird-feeders or….. We take away more and more of their territory we build strip malls and housing developments in their once expansive roaming grounds whose kin had frequented a thousand years ago. We carve roads through the woods their ancestors once roamed. We hit them with our cars on roads because they have not yet learnt how to outpace hurry-up man and his machines….and they go off and suffer and die somewhere however long it takes. We murder them because we like trophies on our walls to prove how masculine we are. We get all excited when we discover one in a tree in our residential backyards and so call the police or the DEC who too often shoot to kill because they lack imagination and how more commodious it is to save money by just being done with it and moving on. Or the DEC shoots one with a tranquilizer dart way up in a tree and the poor fellow falls 30 feet and dies upon impact because geez “We never thought the effects of the dope would put it in a state of animation so soon.”

    Black bears,like all animals,know how to check their own populations an inner nature (survival instinct) possesses them. Such beautiful animals they are! ‘Planet of the apes.’ What a powerful message this movie was so many moons ago….it has stuck with me since. We cage birds,tank fish…. We put out glue traps so that mice might step into them and die slow horrible days-long deaths because they cannot undo themselves from our sadistic creations.

    Where am I going with this? I think you know. The horrible things I see,especially this time of year when all the animals come out….victims of the the crazy ape man!

    • kathy says:

      And I wonder how many were shot for food intake. Same thoughts for extending bobcat season,it’s 99% sport to kill these 2 animals.

      • AG says:

        Exactly. If this was a story about a dangerous bear being killed I would have no real issue… But “harvesting” is just sickening to me. I don’t understand what people get out of just killing something because you can. Same for bobcats or any other predator.

    • Boreas says:

      As long as mankind views the natural world as a resource instead of an ecosystem, there will be no change in attitude. Now we have to “regulate” nature so that we can live our comfy lives.

    • AG says:

      Overall I agree – but mice and rats are very destructive. Both materially and to human health. Actually the glue traps were made so that they could actually be released. That said – mice and rats can be better kept in check by allowing their predators to flourish on the outside. In any event – I’m an animal lover – but mice and rats don’t belong in homes. They and mosquitos are responsible for untold amounts of human death. They also have no problem reproducing. Not the same thing as harvesting bears or caging birds – which I am against.

  2. SwilliAm says:

    I was a hunter and a trapper in my teens and twenties in St. Lawrence county. I became a full-time trapper and bullfrog hunter, and stopped hunting because of my trapping and frogleg income. I went from leg-hold traps to the more humane conibear traps after about two seasons because it pained me to have to club suffering animals to preserve the pelts. Now that I have a regular job, I have no need to harvest animals for a living, and I’m glad for it. I’ve never hunted or trapped for trophies, and I’ve never really understood the whole rationale for it. Charlie’s post reveals who we are as humans, we who thump our chests and our bibles in our false sense of supremacy over the natural world. Being the only organism on the planet with our ability to think and reason such as we can, in the hierarchy of dignity in the natural world, I’m afraid I would have to put us “ape men” at the very bottom of the scale.

    • AG says:

      Agreed. And if people really understood their bibles they would know that when it says man was given “dominion” – in the Hebrew the whole thought was of being a steward of a gift.. Not a destroyer or being given to wanton waste. In fact – I guess those same people exemplify the words from the bible that man’s heart is full of evil – which causes his destructive behavior.