new york bear hunting
Cover photo via Watershed Post

New York DEC Announces Bear Harvest Results for 2016

New York hunters took a total of 1,539 black bears during the 2016 season. Here are the details.

With conditions described as 'excellent' and a population as 'thriving' in New York, the DEC announced the bear take totals for the 2016 season in the Empire State.

Commissioner Basil Seggos said:

"New York has excellent bear habitat and vast, accessible public lands that offer exciting opportunities for bear hunting. Black bears are thriving in New York currently, and are a great resource for both out-of-state and local hunters."

NY's Northern Zone saw 514 bears taken, the Southern Zone 1,025. Maybe the best part of the report was the new-to-2016 youth hunt in which junior hunters could harvest their first bear.

While part of the early youth hunt took place in the Northern Zone during early October's Columbus Day weekend, it was ten youth hunters in the State's Southern Zone who tallied a bruin.

Takes in both zones were down from 2015 an average of about 11 percent, but still near the historical five-year average. In the Southern Zone the bowhunters started off with a flurry by taking near identical numbers as the regular firearms group: 379 to 398 respectively.

There was also a limited early season hunt in several Catskill region management units that yielded 228 animals.

Among other items of interest: 25 bears were taken that had been tagged from four different states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The heaviest animal taken was a dressed, 555 pound brute from Franklin County.

Some 107 bruins were reported on opening day 2016 which was the most taken in the Southern Zone, or any other day in NY!

For a full breakdown of the 2016 bear season in NY, including county and town-by-town results go to the DEC website. Of course, all this great information hinges on all hunters competently reporting their harvest to state officials.

With such great hunting in the state there are many opportunities for anyone who cares to take to the woods in search of New York's terrific bear hunting!