New York Releases 2012 Bear Harvest NumbersNew York DEC, Bear Hunting Magazine
New York's Department of Environmental Conservation released their 2012 hunting season results this week. Last year ended up being the state's third highest bear harvest on record with 1,337 black bears.
Only the 2003 harvest of 1,864 and the 2009 harvest of 1,487 surpassed last year's numbers. Regionally, bear harvest increased in the Adirondacks but decreased in the Southeastern and Central-Western bear hunting areas.
In the Adirondacks, hunters tagged 606 bears in 2012, returning to a more normal harvest level after an exceptionally low harvest in 2011.
This past season, hunters found greatest success during the early season (386 bears; mid-September until mid-October) compared to the regular season (132 bears; late October to early December). This pattern was expected after a summer of low natural food availability.
In the Southeastern bear hunting area, bears harvested dropped from the record 630 in 2011 to 442 in 2012. Similarly, the Central-Western bear hunting area harvest dropped from the record 353 in 2011 to 289 in 2012.
The drop in harvest was most pronounced in Southeastern New York where biologists anticipated a potential reduced harvest due to early denning behavior associated with the general lack of soft and hard mast (apples, acorns and beechnuts).