Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

More WMUs eyed for bear hunting

Albany – Thirteen additional wildlife management units will be
added to the Allegany and Catskill bear hunting zones this fall
under a DEC plan announced last month.

The WMUs are located across the Southern Tier in parts of
Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Wyoming, Genesee, Monroe,
Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Steuben, Schuyler,
Tompkins, Tioga, Cortland, Broome, Chenango, Madison, Onondaga,
Oneida and Otsego counties.

“The proposal to open new areas to bear hunting in the Southern
Zone bear range is part of our continuing effort to better manage
bear populations and provide excellent hunting opportunities in New
York state,” DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said. “Expanding the
bear hunting area is a proactive strategy to slow the expansion of
black bear range and population and reduce conflicts between black
bears and people before those conflicts reach unacceptable
levels.”

The move comes in response to a growing number of bears in much
of the Southern Tier, and an expansion of the bruins’ range into
several new areas. Bear sightings have even been reported outside
the cities of Syracuse and Rochester.

The statewide bear population is estimated at 6,000-7,000 – a
number that has grown significantly in recent years. The majority
(4,000-5,000) can be found in the Adirondack region, with the
remainder of the population mostly in the Allegany (300-500) and
Catskill (1,500-2,000) regions.

In recent years there have been a growing number of interactions
between bears and people, including some serious conflicts where
bears have entered homes or cabins, DEC officials said.

In the fall and winter of 2007-08, DEC held a series of public
meetings throughout upstate New York to gather public input on
future bear management efforts.

“Attendees at these meetings expressed interest in maintaining a
healthy bear population and, where bears have a noticeable
presence, supported management actions like expanded hunting
opportunities to help control bear numbers and problems,” DEC said
in a news release.

The proposal would open WMUs 7M, 7R, 7S, 8H, 8J, 8M, 8N, 8P, 8R,
8S, 9G and 9H to black bear hunting for the archery, regular and
muzzleloading seasons. This would include parts of Chautauqua,
Cattaraugus, Erie, Wyoming, Genesee, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne,
Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Steuben, Schuyler, Tompkins, Tioga,
Cortland, Broome, Chenango, Madison, Onondaga, and Oneida counties.
Season dates for the units would be the same as those in place for
adjacent units already open to bear hunting in the Allegany bear
range, officials said.

In addition, WMU 4N – parts of Chenango and Otsego counties –
would be opened to black bear hunting for the archery, regular and
muzzleloading seasons. The season dates would be the same as
adjacent areas to the east – the firearms season for bear is the
same as the firearms season for deer – in the Catskill bear
range.

A map of DEC’s WMUs can be found online at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8302.html.
The proposal is also posted on DEC’s Web site at www.dec.ny.gov (select “Proposed
Regulations” from the left column).

DEC will be accepting public comments on the proposals until
Aug. 9. To send written comments on the proposals, go to www.dec.ny.gov and select “Proposed
Regulations” from the left column, or mail comments to: Gordon
Batcheller, NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY
12233-4754.

DEC will also be hosting several public meetings this month to
discuss the proposed regulation changes. Meetings are scheduled
for:

€ Tuesday, July 15, from 7-9 p.m. at the Broome County
Cooperative Extension Office, 840 Upper Front St., Binghamton.

€ Tuesday, July 15, 7-9 p.m. in the Dansville High School
Auditorium, 284 Main St., Dansville.

€ Wednesday, July 16, 7-9 p.m. in the Warsaw Central Middle-High
School Auditorium, 81 West Court St., Warsaw.

€ Thursday, July 17, 7-9 p.m. at the Ontario County Safety
Training Facility, 2914 County Road 48, Canandaigua.

€ Thursday, July 17, 7-9 p.m. in the Evans Town Hall courtroom,
8787 Erie Road, Angola.

DEC officials called bear hunting “the only viable and
cost-effective tool for managing bear numbers on a regional
basis.”

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