The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently released its numbers for the 2022 hunting season and the report found that about 1,318 black bears, or 21 percent of New York’s population, were harvested.

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Hunting season in New York is a way to control and track the population of various animals. New York’s DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says that there are an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 black bears in New York and that, “Regulated bear hunting is a necessary tool for population management, especially with numbers increasing in recent years.

Although the figure of roughly 1,318 black bears taken might seem like a high number, Seggos said, “I’m pleased to see hunters across the state logged another successful and safe bear hunting season.”

The heaviest black bear harvested in New York during the 2022 season was a bear taken by a bowhunter in the town of Windsor, Broome County. The female bear weighed in at 520 pounds.

SEE ALSO: If the Winter Weather Is Warm, Do New York Bears Still Hibernate?

The majority of the black bears that were harvested came from the Catskill region of New York which is home to about 30 to 35 percent of the state’s population. The Adirondack Park is home to the largest black bear population in New York with about 50 to 60 percent of black bears living there, but keep in mind that the Adirondack Park has about six million acres of space.

Hunters are required by law to report their harvest so that the DEC can collect information on the population. Of the harvested bears in 2022, 612 had teeth collected to help the DEC determine the average age of the bear population.

READ MORE: Are There Alligators in Upstate New York?

Bear hunting is allowed in New York state through the fall in certain sections of the state's northern, southeastern, and central parts.

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