NEW YORK (WWTI) – Total bear harvests have declined statewide during the 2021 hunting season. This has been confirmed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. . 2021 Bear Harvest Totals Report February 14.
“Each year, New York bear hunters provide DEC wildlife managers with valuable information to help guide future management decisions,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release. “Although not always successful, thousands of dedicated hunters venture into the field each year to help maintain populations at desired levels, maintaining healthy bear populations in the state.”
According to the DEC, hunters captured 1,346 black bears during the 2021 season. This is down from the 2020 total and the five-year average, which recorded 1,723 and 1,496, respectively.
Of the total number, hunters captured 403 bears in the northern zone and 943 in the southern zone. These harvests were 30% lower in the north and 20% lower in the south than 2020 levels.
The DEC said reasons for the lower rates could have included warmer weather for much of the start of the season, as well as plentiful food to reduce bear movements.
Despite the overall low harvest, the Catskill region recorded the highest rate. The DEC added that in wildlife management units 3A, 3C, 3K, 3P, 4R and 4W, hunters captured more than 10 bears per 100 square miles.
A full breakdown of the estimated bear harvest in New York State is included below and is broken down by zones.
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The DEC collects black bear harvest data from the reports required of all successful bear hunters and the physical examination of over 300 bears by DEC staff. In 2021, 84% of successful bear hunters reported their harvest.
More information on the 2021 Bear Hunting Season to be found on the DEC website.