New York State bear hunters took 1,295 black bears during the 2018 hunting seasons, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced. A complete summary of the 2018 bear harvest with results and maps by county, town, and WMU is available on DEC’s website.
In total, hunters took an estimated 491 bears in the Northern Zone, about 25 percent more than 2017 and within the historical average range. Northern Zone hunters took about 45 percent fewer bears during the Northern Zone regular season in 2018 than in 2017. Bear take during the early season was particularly strong, however, with a nearly three-fold increase over 2017 and a 50-percent increase over the five-year average.
Hunters took an estimated 804 black bears in New York’s Southern Zone in 2018, approximately 20 percent fewer than 2017 and the recent five-year average. With reduced natural forage for bears this past fall and deep snows in mid-November prior to the regular firearms season, many bears went into dens a few weeks earlier than normal. As a result, although bear take through the early season and bow season was comparable to 2017, take during the regular season declined by more than 40 percent from 2017.
5-year Average (2013-2017)
One bear harvested per 3.2 square miles. By DEC Wildlife Management Unit (WMU), the greatest bear harvest density occurred in WMU 3C which mainly covers Ulster County and includes portions of Sullivan and Greene counties. The town of Kingston in Ulster County (WMU 3C) yielded one bear for every 1.5 square miles;
80: the greatest number of bears reported taken on any one day. It happened on November 17 – the opening day of the regular firearms season in the Southern Zone;
585 pounds: the heaviest dressed weight bear reported to DEC in 2018, taken in the town of Shandaken, Ulster County. A 550-pound dressed weight bear was reported taken in Marbletown, Ulster County, and six bears were reported with dressed weights between 400-500 pounds. Scaled weights of dressed bears were submitted for 23 percent of bears taken in 2018.
Six: the number of tagged bears reported in the 2018 harvest. These included one bear originally tagged in Pennsylvania and two from New Jersey. The remainder were originally tagged in New York for a variety of reasons, including research, nuisance response, relocated urban bears, or released rehabilitated bears.
767: the number of hunter-killed bears from which DEC collected teeth for age analysis in 2018. Hunters who reported their harvest and submitted a tooth for age analysis will receive a 2018 Black Bear Management Cooperator Patch. Results of the age analysis is expected to be available by September 2019.
Nine percent: the proportion of bears taken by non-resident hunters. Successful non-resident bear hunters hailed from 19 states, the farthest being Washington.
DEC’s harvest estimates rely on successful hunters reporting their harvest. For more information on game harvest reporting, visit DEC’s website.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that reservations for the new Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area in the Adirondacks are now open. Reservations can be made for this coming summer season – June 28 through Columbus Day weekend – and interested campers are encouraged to book campsites early since demand is expected to be high for the State’s newest campground.
The Department of Environmental Conservation-managed campground at the site of the former Frontier Town theme park was designed in collaboration with the Office of General Services and C.T. Male Associates. It includes 91 campsites to accommodate a range of camping and visitor experiences, including:
An equestrian camping area with 33 sites modeled after the camping areas at DEC’s Otter Creek Horse Trail facility. The area includes electrical hookups and a pavilion;
A recreational vehicle (RV) and trailer camping area with space for 13 sites with electrical hookups, fireplaces, and conveniently located water spigots. The RV area also includes a playground;
A tent camping area with a total of 45 tent sites, including three group camping sites; three walk-in camping sites; four sites with electric vehicle charging stations; two shower buildings; a playground; and two pavilions;
A seasonal day-use area along the shoreline of the Schroon River will be available to campers and visitors to enjoy a pavilion, two playgrounds, two electric vehicle charging stations, and a comfort station.
Within the Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area, a network of pedestrian trails will take visitors to four viewpoints: two along the Schroon River and two overlooking an oxbow wetland.
The campground, a signature project of Governor Cuomo’s Adventure NY Initiative, was designed to provide accessibility to people of all ages and abilities and includes many Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant features. The facility’s universal design enables everyone, including seniors and families with small children, to access all amenities consistent with the Governor’s 2018 Executive Order to make New York the first age-friendly state in the country. All campsites, showers, and restrooms are accessible. All campsites are fully accessible including accessibly-designed picnic tables and fireplaces. In addition, the campground features two ADA-compliant horse mounting ramps.
To make a reservation and start planning your Adirondack adventure, visit the reservations website. EST. Depending on construction timelines, additional dates may be released at a later time. For additional campground details, visit DEC’s website.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the results of a two-year scientific study to determine optimal duck hunting seasons for the coming years. DEC selected the duck season dates by implementing a process that maximizes duck hunter inclusion, is rooted in scientific data, and balances factors in duck abundance and specific zones of the state. Bag limits will be announced in April.
These waterfowl hunting seasons are the results of a two-year collaboration between DEC’s Bureau of Wildlife and Cornell University. DEC asked a group of waterfowl hunters, known as the Waterfowl Task Force, to identify options for optimal duck season dates in each waterfowl zone. DEC and Cornell University’s Center for Conservation Social Sciences then surveyed approximately one-third of the duck hunters in New York State (roughly 6,000 hunters). Finally, biologists incorporated the most recent zone-specific duck abundance and migration data.
In all waterfowl zones, hunters felt the most important consideration was the opportunity to pursue mallards and black ducks, followed closely by the opportunity to pursue any duck or a diversity of species. Duck hunters like to see a variety of duck species when they hunt. DEC paired this information with new, zone-specific data on duck abundance and migration. Through this process, DEC identified season dates that best fit the values of duck hunters in each zone.
Barring changes to season length, duck seasons in New York will be open for the following dates in 2019-2020:
Northeastern Zone – Beginning on the first Saturday in October, running for 23 days, ending on a Sunday, and a second split beginning the first Saturday following the closure of the 1st split, running 37 days, and ending on a Sunday (e.g., Oct. 5, 2019 – Oct. 27, 2019 and Nov. 2, 2019 – Dec. 8, 2019). Northeastern Zone Structured Decision-Making Analysis and Results
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the completion of an aerial Adirondack moose survey that takes place each year as part of a collaborative study of the health of New York’s moose population. A total of 83 groups of one or more moose were observed during the survey’s 175 sightings, with all appearing healthy.
After an absence of 120 years, moose recolonized New York in the 1980s. Since that time, biologists have been routinely monitoring moose in the state, informing the public about moose, and responding to situations where moose come into conflict with people.
DEC wildlife staff conducted the helicopter flights in January over seven days and approximately 42 hours of flight time. The survey divides the Adirondack park into grids and records every moose or group of moose seen. The survey crew then flies over to the sighting location, takes a GPS point, determines the number of animals, the age and sex of each animal, and notes general habitat characteristics for each moose sighted. Continue reading →
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC and its partners are launching a preventative initiative to reduce the number of search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks and help to ensure the public has an enjoyable and safe outdoor experience. The measure will increase engagement between hikers and experienced backcountry users and is part of DEC’s multi-year, comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism while also addressing public safety in the Adirondack region.
The initiative is based on the successfulPreventative Search and Rescue programdeveloped by the National Park Service. This program has decreased the number of search and rescue incidents on popular backcountry routes in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks. Face-to-face education is a vital component of the program.
DEC Forest Rangers, Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) stewards and educators, and the Adirondack 46ers’ volunteer trailhead stewards will promote proper planning and preparation through direct conversations with hikers at trailheads and on the trails. Continue reading →
The 2018 hunting seasons in New York tallied the lowest number of recorded hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSIs) and tied the 2016 mark – 13 – as the safest on record, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. DEC documented five tree stand incidents and zero fatalities in 2018, down from 12 tree stand incidents the previous year.
Of the 13 HRSIs that occurred last year, seven were two-party firearm incidents, six were self-inflicted, and three resulted in fatalities that could have been prevented if hunting safety rules and common sense were followed. Of the three fatalities, two were self-inflicted and caused by unsafe handling of firearms and one was a two-party firearm incident caused by a failure to positively identify the target. DEC’S Hunting Safety Statistics and the 2018 Tree Stand Safety Statistics, are on DEC’s website.
Further examination of the seven two-party firearm incidents reveals that six (86 percent) of the victims involved were not wearing hunter orange, reinforcing the importance of identifying the target and beyond, and wearing hunter orange when afield—two major tenets of DEC’s hunter safety courses. Continue reading →
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner (Ag & Markets) Richard Ball announced that the state has finalized the New York State Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Risk Minimization Plan. The plan proposes regulatory changes and new actions to minimize the risk of CWD entering or spreading in New York State.
The plan is designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose herds in New York, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.
The plan alls for increased public participation in the state’s efforts, and DEC and Ag & Markets are urging hunters and citizens to:
Report sick or abnormally behaving deer;
Do not feed wild deer;
Dispose of carcasses properly at approved landfills;
Use alternatives to urine-based lures or use synthetic forms of deer urine.