Hunters Take Fewer Bears In 2021; DEC Says It’s No Concern
With bear hunting season officially wrapped up in New York State, the numbers are in as to how hunters did this year.
Wildlife managers from the State Department of Conservation (DEC) receive their data from bear hunters each year. This information is used to help better guide future management decisions, according to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
Although they aren't always successful, thousands of dedicated hunters venturing afield each year help keep populations at desired levels, maintaining health bear populations in the state.
Overall, numbers show a decline in New York for 2021. A total of 1,346 black bears were taken this year, which is down from the 1,723 recorded last season. This also lowers the state's five-year average to 1,496.
As for the zones, the south continues to outpace the north. The Catskill region produced the highest bear harvest density, with over 10 bears taken per 100 square miles. Hunters only took an estimated 403 bears in the Northern Zone, compared to the 943 taken in the Southern Zone. This indicates roughly a 30% decrease in the north from 2020 and a 20% decrease for the south.
The DEC says there is typically an alternating pattern of low and high bear hunting results each year. This is usually determined by changing patterns in cub production and food availability.