New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued guidance to reduce the potential for human-bear conflicts.
Conflicts between people and bears typically increase in summer months due to the dispersal of young bears from family groups, the onset of the breeding season, and a lull in natural food availability prior to the ripening of local berries and other natural food sources.
These conditions occasionally cause bears to travel through unfamiliar areas. Bears will take advantage of anything they consider a food source as they travel, adding to the potential for conflict. The most common attractants are poorly stored garbage, bird feeders, messy grills, and pet food left outdoors. Once a bear finds these foods, it will often continue to return to the area in hopes of finding the same food again. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reminded New Yorkers to take steps to prevent bears from easily accessing food sources like bird feeders and garbage.
Due to poor natural food availability last fall, many black bears went into their dens with low fat reserves. As they begin to emerge from winter dens, they have already begun seeking out food sources around homes. » Continue Reading.
According to a press release issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation, on September 24, DEC’s Dispatch Center received a tip from a concerned citizen regarding an individual that had shot multiple bears during the early bear hunting season.
The caller reported that a sow and her two cubs were killed on September 22nd. The case was assigned to ECO Chris Lagree, who reported that the bears were taken illegally less than a mile from his own residence. ECO Lagree interviewed the suspect at his home in Plattsburgh, at which time Lagree says the suspect admitted to taking the sow and cubs in addition to another bear, and to having shot the bears over a bait pile. » Continue Reading.
Due to number of residents still feeding birds and failing to secure their garbage, and the amount of nuisance bear activity in the Town of Lake George, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is shifting from an educational mode to an enforcement mode.
Residences with bird feeders and other bear attractants will be given a written warning. If they fail to heed the warning they will be issued a ticket that could result in a maximum penalty of $250 fine and 15 days in jail. » Continue Reading.
Hikers should avoid camping at Slant Rock Lean-to area in the High Peaks this weekend and beware of a nuisance bear with an ear tag that has been active in Eastern High Peaks Wilderness recently.
The bear is approaching hikers and campers in an attempt to obtain food. The bear has been seen in the Slant Rock area, which is located along the popular Phelps Trail in the Johns Brook Valley. » Continue Reading.
As I write this at my home, there’s snow on the ground. But spring is almost here. In fact, as I opened the door to leave my house this morning, I was greeted by a sure sign of spring; the patently pungent smell of skunk! And I couldn’t help but wonder if the little stinker, indeed, missed or misted its adversary.
It never ceases to amaze me how animals can spend the winter months in hibernation (deep sleep) or torpor (a state of decreased physiological activity during periods of extreme cold; light hibernation) in order to survive months of harsh weather and scarcity of food. They’re waking up now, and coming out of their dens and lairs looking for (in the case of skunks, mates and) something to eat. » Continue Reading.
New York State bear hunters killed 1,420 black bears during the 2017 hunting seasons according to statistics compiled by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Hunters took an estimated 1,037 black bears in New York’s Southern Zone, nearly the same number as in 2016, but slightly more than the recent five-year average. Bowhunters took 330 bears, on par with the recent average, but less than the 537 bears taken during the regular season. The early season, which DEC initiated in 2014 to reduce bear populations in a handful of management units in the Catskill region, resulted in 150 bears. » Continue Reading.
Hunters have been more successful at killing deer around New York State, but less successful at hunting bear in the Northern Region through the first several weeks of big game seasons in 2017 than last year, according to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
DEC says that early reports from New York hunters through Dec. 3, show approximately 18 percent more deer were killed in the Northern Zone and 14 percent more deer in the Southern Zone compared to the same period in 2016.
The fields around our home are something of a bear buffet from mid-summer through fall: wild blueberries in July followed by blackberries, then apples come September, with beechnuts falling from the trees skirting the mown area. In our 13 years here, we’ve seen a mother bear noshing on fallen apples while her cubs scampered around in the tree above her, heard bears climbing and snapping the occasional apple branch while we lay in tents 20 yards away during a backyard campout, and even witnessed two cubs playing in our kids’ sandbox.
I’ve often wondered where the neighborhood bruins – otherwise known as American black bears (Ursus americanus) – den up for the winter. How do they decide where – and when – to hunker down for the cold season? » Continue Reading.
Early bear hunting seasons are about to begin across New York State. Hunting is generally permitted on Forest Preserve land in the Adirondack Park. Hunting accidents are rare, but hikers should wear bright colors and keep pets leashed as a precaution.
During the Early Bear Season, hunters may use a bow (with appropriate bowhunting eligibility), crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, or rifle (where allowed). Because of the likelihood of warm weather, DEC is telling hunters they should be prepared to skin and cool dead bears as soon as possible to protect the quality of the meat. DEC suggests hunters skin and quarter the bear in the field, then pack out the meat in game bags to a waiting cooler of ice. » Continue Reading.
Here’s an opportunity to be a scientific researcher, even if you have an English degree. New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit at Cornell University and the Department of Environmental Conservation are launching a project that enlists citizen scientists to collect data about black bears.
Using the iSeeMammals app, which you can download here, participants go on hikes and record signs of bears through photos, by setting up a fixed camera and recording information. You can create an account online or on your Apple or Android phone. » Continue Reading.
Wendy Hall, my wife and co-director of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehab Center in Wilmington, rescued Barnaby the bear with a Have-a-Heart trap last September.
Skinny and gaunt, starving and mangy, riddled with internal and external parasites, and less than thirty five pounds, Barnaby was in real tough shape. For a black bear more than a year old, these conditions could be potentially fatal, and we weren’t sure he would live.
Two months later, Barnaby had not only put on 100 pounds, but somewhere between the two months when he began to hibernate in November, and mid-January, Barnaby turned into Barnabee, and gave birth to two cubs. How did this happen? » Continue Reading.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that bear hunters in New York State killed 1,539 black bears during the 2016 hunting seasons.
Hunters took a total of 1,025 black bears in the Southern Zone, about 10 percent fewer than in 2015, but slightly more than the recent five-year average. Nearly equal numbers of bears were killed during the bow season, 379 bears, and regular season, 398 bears. The early season, which occurs only in a handful of management units in the Catskill region, yielded 228 bears. » Continue Reading.
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