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Bear hunting season starts here next Saturday

Black bear hunting season is opening early. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced on Wednesday that early bear hunting season will open this Saturday in southeastern New York and next Saturday, Sept. 19 in the North Country.

“Early black bear hunting seasons are an important tool to manage bear populations and provide a great opportunity for hunters to enjoy a late summer outing,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos in a press release.

“Bears are feeding heavily this time of year, gorging on wild nuts, berries, apples, and frequently in corn fields as well.”

In southeastern New York, the early bear season runs from Sept. 12 to 27 in Wildlife Management Units 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3P, 3R, 4P and 4W. The early bowhunting season for bears will open in all of the Southern Zone on Oct. 1; the regular firearms season will open Nov. 21.

In northern New York, the season runs from Sept. 19 to Oct. 16 in Wildlife Management Units 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H and 6J. Bowhunting season for bears also begins Sept. 19 in 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N.

Muzzleloader season opens in all northern Wildlife Management Units on Oct. 17, and on Oct. 24 for the regular firearms season.

During the early season, bear hunters may use a bow, with appropriate bowhunting eligibility, crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun or, where allowed, rifle.

Hunters are required to report their bear harvest within seven days. The DEC also encourages hunters to submit a premolar tooth and weights of harvested bears to help biologists monitor bear dynamics and trends.

More information about black bear hunting in New York is available on the DEC’s website at dec.ny.gov.

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