Bear Harvest Results from 2017
New York bear hunters took a total of 1,420 black bears during the 2017 hunting seasons. Hunters took an estimated 1,037 black bears in the Southern Zone, nearly the same as in 2016, but more than the recent five-year average. Bowhunters took 330 bears, on par with the recent average, but less than the 537 bears taken during the regular season. The early season, initiated in 2014 to reduce bear populations in the Catskill region, resulted in 150 bears.
In the Northern Zone, hunters took an estimated 383 bears, about 25% fewer than 2016 and well below the historical average. Bear take in the Northern Zone tends to alternate between strong harvests during the early season one year, followed by strong harvests during the regular season the next, based primarily on cycles of food availability. This year, the early season only accounted for 82 bears, similar to the early seasons of 2011 and 2013. However, hunters fared much better during the regular season, taking 242 bears.