New York Hunters Harvest Less Bears for 2nd Straight Year; But Why?
Numbers are trending down, but there might be a reason for it after all.
Every year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) releases their Bear Harvest report from the past hunting season. 2022 saw an overall decline in numbers from the year before, though DEC Commissioner Seggos still considers this a successful season.
New York's black bear populations remain robust, particularly in the Catskill and Adirondack regions... Regulated bear hunting is a necessary tool for population management, especially with numbers increasing in recent years.
In the Northern Zone, hunters harvested an estimated 458 bears, which is up 14% from last year. The Southern Zone however went down 9% with 860 harvested. The total average was also 10% lower than the 5-year average.
Here's a full look at 2022's Estimated Bear Harvest Totals:
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.
As for the fun numbers, the Catskills once again had the greatest density of black bears this season. The heaviest dressed-weight bear came in at 520 pounds, imagine getting that out of the woods. Also, the youngest and oldest hunters who successfully took a bear in 2022 were 13 and 91-years-old.