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Sportsman Outdoors

NY 2021 Bear Harvest Totals


The New York DEC has just released the 2021 statewide bear harvest totals, 1,346 bears were taken. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Every year, New York's bear hunters provide DEC wildlife managers with valuable information to help guide future management decisions. Although they aren't always successful, thousands of dedicated hunters venturing afield each year help keep populations at desired levels, maintaining healthy bear populations in the state.”

403 bears were taken in the Northern zone and 943 bears in the Southern Zone, this represents 30% fewer bears taken in the North and 20% fewer in the South compared to the 2020 bear take.

The 403 bear take in the Northern Zone, the breakdown figures include: archery-12 muzzleloader-12, firearms-376 and youths-3. The 943 bear take in the Southern Zone include: early season-100, archery-322, muzzleloader-23, firearms-490 and youth-8.

143 bears were taken in the Southern Zone on opening day. This was the greatest number of bears reportedly taken on any one day. The heaviest bear taken was a 560-lb bear, and it came from Greene County. Of the top 25 heaviest bears, five came from St. Lawrence County and five came from Ulster County.

The number of tagged bears in the harvest was 10, and it includes two bears originally tagged in Pennsylvania. DEC collected teeth for age analysis from 637 bears. 14% of the total bears were taken by non-resident hunters who came from 20 different states and one territory.

Comparing New York's and neighboring Pennsylvania's bear take this past bear season is interesting. New York's total bear take was 1,346, Pennsylvania's was 3,612, that's 2,266 more bear that was taken in Pennsylvania. New York's heaviest bear was 560-lbs and Pennsylvania's was 722-lbs.

One has to wonder why there is such a difference since both states have similar bear habitat. Many have said it is bear management and it could very well be the reason


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