DEC proposes new opportunities for bear hunting

NY Big Game:
DEC has proposed regulations that will open new areas east of the Hudson River to black bear hunting and establish uniform bear hunting season dates across the Southern Zone beginning in fall 2011.  Increasing opportunity for bear hunting in the Southern Zone will help alleviate agricultural and homeowner conflicts with bears, provide recreational opportunity, and facilitate wise use of bear meat and hides.
The specific changes proposed for the Southern bear range would:
  • Open WMUs 3F, 3G, 3N, 3R, 3S, 4C, 4K, 4L, 4T, 4U, 4Y, 4Z, 5S and 5T to black bear hunting for the archery, regular and muzzleloading seasons. This would include all of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Rensselaer, and Washington counties, and the portion of Rockland that was not already open for black bear hunting.  Season dates for these units will be the same as those in place for adjacent units already open to bear hunting in the Southern bear range. 
  • Establish an earlier start to the existing regular black bear season in wildlife management units in parts of central and western New York by removing the 7-day lag that has previously existed between the start of the regular deer season and the regular bear season in this portion of New York.   This will provide a uniform bear hunting season framework for all bear hunting in the Southern Zone.
A detailed description of the proposal and instructions for providing comments are available at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html   
DEC will be accepting public comments on the proposal through July 5, 2011.  Please do not respond to this email to submit your comments. 
The proposed rulemaking can also be viewed in detail in the May 18, 2011 publication of the New York State Register at www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2011.html

This map illustrates the proposed bear hunting expansion east of the Hudson River (red).   The proposed regulations would also establish a consistent bear hunting season across the Central-Western (blue), Southeastern (orange) and East of the Hudson (red) bear hunting areas.



Jeremy Hurst
Big Game Biologist

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