Canisteo leads local take with 13 harvests

ALBANY — New York bear hunters killed 1,505 black bears during the 2019 hunting seasons, including a record take in the southern part of the state that stretches across the Southern Tier, Catskills and Hudson Valley.


New York has dealt with a growing bear population, particularly in the Catskills, and the ability of hunters to pare down the population is a benefit to the state, said Basil Seggos, the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.


“Black bears are thriving in New York, and bear hunting seasons are a critical part of our state’s necessary population management,” Seggos said in a statement.


"The state's accessible public lands offer great opportunities for bear hunting and the data DEC's wildlife managers collect from the harvest continue to help us maintain healthy bear populations."


The 2019 bear harvest had different results across the state, DEC's review found.


Hunters took a record 1,179 bears in the Southern Zone, which runs from the Hudson Valley through the Catskills and into western New York.


In the Northern Zone, mainly in the Adirondacks, 326 bears were taken — the fewest since 2011, the DEC said.


The discrepancy is largely the result of weak season in 2018 in the Southern Zone, when there was early snowfall and thus an early hibernation by the bears, the DEC said.


Steuben County


Locally, hunters harvested 113 bear in Steuben County — trailing only Sullivan (207), Ulster (157) and Delaware (150) counties for the state lead.


Canisteo led the total take with 13 harvested in the town. Eleven were harvested in Lindley, followed by eight in Troupsburg, seven in Addison, and six apiece in Greenwood, Rathbone and Bath.


Five bear were taken in Avoca, West Union and Erwin. Hartsville hunters harvested four. Hornellsville, Woodhull, Wayland and Cohocton hunters took three bear. Dansville and Jasper saw two bear harvests.


Allegany County


Allegany County hunters harvested 51 bear in 2019. The highest number came in Amity, with six. Hunters in Genesee harvested five bear.


Scio and Wellsville hunters took four apiece. With three were the towns of Alma, Angelica, New Hudson and Willing. Taking two each were Belfast, Birdsall, Bolivar, Caneadea, Clarksville and West Almond.


Livingston County


Just five bear were harvested in Livingston County — two in Portage, and one apiece in Nunda, Ossian and Mount Morris.


Statistics


The DEC offered some statistics on bear hunting:


2.9


The number of bears harvested per 10 square miles in southern Sullivan County and a portion of Orange County — the most of any area. The town of Tusten, Sullivan County, had the largest harvest: four bears for every 10 square miles.


157


The greatest number of bears reported taken on any one day. It happened on November 16 — the opening day of the regular firearms season in the Southern Zone.


643 pounds


The heaviest dressed-weight bear reported to DEC in 2019, taken in the town of Thompson, Sullivan County. Scaled weights of dressed bears were submitted for 30% percent of bears taken in 2019.


17


The number of tagged bears reported in the 2019 harvest, including six bears originally tagged in Pennsylvania, one from Massachusetts, and one from New Jersey.


— with additional reporting by Chris Potter