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September Signals Start of Bear Hunting Season in New York State

hunter in the forestEarly black bear hunting season is upon us in New York State. The season runs from September 10th through the 25th in specific wildlife areas throughout Southeastern region of the state, and from September 17th to October 14th in the Northern areas.

In some parts of the state, bear hunting continues through the end of the year. The season for Westchester County begins later in autumn and can run throughout December, depending on hunting methods and exact location.

Early season hunters have the option of using a bow (if eligible), a crossbow, a handgun, a shotgun, or rifle (where allowed).

Hunting is not only popular in many circles (more than 38 million Americans hunt and fish), but it can also be an important part of population control. During this time of year, black bears are feeding heavily and can potentially pose a threat when they forage in fields for food. Bear hunting plays a valuable role in keeping the populations of deer and elk at their proper levels; because bears prey on these animals, having too large of a bear population can threaten other animal populations.

If not kept in check, bears can raom beyond forest borders and can come in contact with pets and humans. Recent bear attacks in Pennsylvania were responsible for the death of two goats within a short period. In one attack, the bear in question jumped right over a dog house to get into the goat’s pen.

Authorities say to be careful with food items and trash, and to keep close watch over children and pets when they’re outdoors.

To find out more about black bear hunting in New York State — including safety tips, proper care, and important regulations — please visit the official website for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or consult their informative booklet.