Hunters is Northern New York last year took the fewest number of bears since 2011.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Thursday that New York state bear hunters took 1,505 black bears during the 2019 hunting season.
Hunters in the Northern Zone took 326 black bears, while the Southern Zone took 1,179, setting a record for that area. On opening day, Nov. 16, hunters took 157 bears, which is the greatest number of bears killed in one day. Jefferson County took 31 bears, St. Lawrence County harvested 76, Lewis County bagged 41, Franklin County landed 26 and Oswego County took two. In all of New York, 13 percent of hunters who took a bear were not residents of the state. Those included residents from 19 states.
Harvest in the Northern Zone tends to alternate between strong harvests during the early season if natural foods are lacking and strong harvests during the regular season if natural foods are abundant, a release from the DEC said Thursday.
In 2019, foods like acorns and berries were abundant and northern hunters were successful, taking 213 bears. However only 64 bears were taken during the early season. Further, bear harvests in the Northern Zone generally follow a high-low pattern year to year, and 2019 fit the pattern.