Black bear hunting opportunities in the North Country have expanded this year as a result of regulation changes adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
The changes affecting the North Country bear season are the establishment of bear hunting seasons in all of upstate, and setting a single start date, Sept. 13, for bowhunting and early firearms bear season in the Northern Zone.
After careful consideration of public comments received on the draft bear plan last winter and on the proposed regulations this summer, DEC adopted the hunting season changes in accordance with the final Black Bear Management Plan. The purpose of the changes is to maintain bear population levels that are acceptable to the public while providing sustainable opportunity for New York’s big game hunters.
DEC deemed the changes necessary to limit population growth and range expansion by black bears in New York. Bears are a tremendous resource in New York, but they can have negative impacts too, through damage to camps, crops, homes and other property. In extreme cases they are a serious threat to public safety. DEC’s bear plan seeks to limit negative black bear impacts by increasing public awareness in preventing human-bear conflicts, addressing individual incidents of bear damage and reducing bear populations where necessary.
The full text of the adopted regulations and a summary of public comments is at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html. The resulting 2014 bear hunting seasons can also be found on DEC’s website at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html. The final Black Bear Management Plan for New York State, 2014-2024 is available at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7215.html.