Early bear season opens next Saturday

Photo courtesy of NYS DECPictured is the commemorative 2019 NYS Black Bear Cooperator Patch. Successful bear hunters who send in a tooth will get the 2020 version plus biometrics of their harvested bear.

Early firearms season for bear opens next Saturday, September 12th and closes September 27th in selected Southern Zone Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). WMUs include 4W, 4P, 4R, 3R, 3P, 3M, 3K, 3J, 3H, 3C, and 3A.

Unfortunately, WMU 4S, which includes portions of Cairo, Palenville, Catskill, on up through the Hudson River corridor, has once again not been added to WMUs open to early bear hunting. This is despite yearly calls from regional bear biologists to do so.

The early bear season was established by DEC biologists to give them a viable tool to address increasing black bear populations and the problems that can cause.

It’s been a bad year for nuisance bears throughout Greene County and opening 4S to early bear hunting would certainly help alleviate the persistent problem of nuisance bears in that WMU.

Nearly 60 complaints were fielded by DEC staff through early August. They included bears breaking in to homes that had to be euthanized.

4S should be added to the WMUs open to the early firearms bear season so hunters can take advantage of the hunting opportunity while simultaneously addressing the nuisance bear problem.

In the Northern Zone, early gun season for bear opens on Saturday, September 19 and runs through October 16. Where allowed, rifles, shotguns, pistols, muzzleloaders, bows, and crossbows are legal implements during both the Southern and Northern Zone early bear seasons.

The forecast for bagging a bear this year is good. If you have permission and access to hunt adjacent to or in standing corn fields, that is a game changer. This is prime time for nuisance bear activity in cornfields. They are the location of choice for some serious early season bear hunters.

Another hotspot for bear activity this time of year is state land adjacent to private land that’s been subject to heavy nuisance bear activity.

In Greene County, Tannersville has been the epicenter of some serious nuisance bear activity. Other hotspots include Hunter, Windham, Ashland, and Roundtop in Cairo.

Wild apple & pears are just about peaking and are already being set upon by deer and bear. Where these areas intersect with travel routes to human food sources can be a great location for local bears to funnel through.

If you are successful during the early bear, early archery, or regular bear season, DEC requires you to report your harvest through the DECALS telephone system at 1-866-426-3778 (1-866-GAMERPT), via the mobile app, or by using the new online Harvest Reporting System at www.dec.ny.gov.

Hunters will then be sent a tooth collection packet with premolar removal and submission instructions. Once you send that in, you will receive

a commemorative 2020 NYS Black Bear Cooperator Patch. Samples will be aged in the summer of 2021 and cooperating hunters will receive patches and letters indicating the age of their bear in early fall 2021.

Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.

News and Notes

Voorheesville Rod & Gun Club “Meet the Candidates” BBQ on Saturday Sept. 12: The Voorheesville Rod & Gun Club is hosting a “Meet the Candidates” BBQ on Saturday, Sept. 12. It will be held at their outdoor pavilion at 52 Foundry Road in Voorheesville from 3-6 p.m. You can speak with Liz Joy who is running for Congress in the 20th Congressional District, and Rich Amedure, who is running for the NYS Senate.

The club states in their flyer both candidates are big supporters of the 2nd Amendment with A+ ratings from the NRA. Typical BBQ fare including hot dogs, hamburgers, & sausage and peppers will be served. There also will be a cash bar. Tickets are $25 per person or $150 per table. Tickets are available at the door on the day of the event.

Catskill Mountain Fish & Game Club Changes Weekly Trap Shooting Days and Time: Sept. 8 is the last time the Catskill Mountain Fish & Game Club will host their weekly Tuesday 6:30 p.m. trap shooting night. Starting September 13 trap shooting at their club off Lustig Road in Hunter will change to Sundays at 2:00 pm. All are welcome. Cost is just $4 per round if you bring your own ammo and only $10 per round with ammo supplied by the club.

Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.

You can share any comments with our sports desk at sports@registerstar.com

*If you have a fishing or hunting report, photo, or event you would like to be considered for publication, you can send it to: huntfishreport@gmail.com

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