Jump Start on Bear Season in New York

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New York is hoping that allowing an earlier jump start on the bear season will keep the bruins out of residential areas such as; Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. The gun season opens on Saturday, and hunters with permits are encouraged to shoot deer and bears, bears ranging from 50-300 pounds.

This is the first season where the DEC is encouraging hunters to shoot bears at the beginning of gun season. Previously there was a week delay before bears were allowed to be harvested as well. From WIVB4.com.


hunter25's picture

Good news for New York

Good news for New York hunters and a great opportunity for more hunting. We have similar problems here with bears going into town most years, this year was an exception with a lot of rain and more for them to eat this year. I have 2 points now so I will probably draw a decent area. I have never even bought an over the counter tag but am afraid I will regret it one of these years. I haven't even seen one while hunting yet but another hunter shot a big one less than a quarter mile from us this year while we were deer hunting. I can't wait to get one as it's a big empty spot in my hunting career right now. Good luck all you New York guys, I hope you get a chance at a big one.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Very good opportunity for the

Very good opportunity for the New York bear hunters to get out there early and harvest a nice bear.  I do wonder though, from the way it reads, it says hunters are encouraged to shoot bears between 50-300 pounds.  I am a little confused.  Is there a regulation that they can only shoot that size, or are they just using that number because that is the common size of bears harvested there.

I know that they have shot bears in the 500 range in New York before, maybe bigger.  Probably just using that as a range.  Anyway, I wish all the bear hunters up there a good season.  Are you going to go out for bear Mike?  Good luck if you do!!

groovy mike's picture

Yes and no...well if I see one I'll take it!

I won't actually be out looking for bear, but if I see one while deer hunting I would happily harvest it.  This article is teh first time that I have seen the  bear weight reference.  I don't think it is actually refering to a regulation, but rather a guideline that says don't shoot little cubs.  The heaviest bear on record in New York that I remember was 537 pounds but that was an old record and may have been surpassed in the last couple of decades.  I don't think I would pass up a bear just because he was a tad over 500 pounds!!!

groovy mike's picture

another example of why I love this site and the timely updates !

This is good news.  The delay never made sense to me.  If I am in the woods with a big game rifle in my hand, does it make sense to have a closed season on bear while deer season is open or vice a versa?   It doesn’t to me.  I don’t think it has much to do wityh keeping bears out of cities.  I think it has to do with statewide bear population control in general.  The use of New York state deer hunters to reduce the bear population just makes sense.  The licenses are issued at the same time so why not start the seasons together.  I think that New York State has finally made a good decision on this issue.  As Retired2hunt said the chances are when out deer hunting or bear hunting you will see the other animal as well in this state within many of the hunting areas. I have never harvested a bear, but they are out there and if I see one while I am deer hunting I no longer have to wonder if the bear season has opened or not.  Thanks for sharing the information BGH.  Isn’t it ironic that I live in New York State but HERE is where I find out about this change?  This is just another example of why I love this site and the timely updates I get here! 

Retired2hunt's picture

  An interesting approach to


An interesting approach to "keeping bears out of cities like Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse".  I would think (if the state didn't already) they would use the archery season that started mid-October to do more of this prevention than waiting until mid-November to get a 1-week head start to the bear gun season.  Don't get me wrong here because the ability for New York deer hunters to have a corresponding bear tag and allowance to harvest the same time is a great ability.  Chances are when out deer hunting or bear hunting you will see the other animal as well in this state within many of the hunting areas.  The article doesn't state it but I would also think that the wooded areas surrounding these larger cities would have special seasons within the units or counties that would also address this prevention focus activity.  I would think this year's bear harvest data especially during this 1-week advanced allowance will definitley determine what will be allowed in 2012.  Bottom line - great for New York hunters and hope you fill both animal tags.