After several years of declining numbers, bear hunters finally got the season they wanted in New York State.

Every year the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) releases their Bear Harvest report from the past hunting season. 2023 finally saw an incline from the year before, of which DEC Commissioner Seggos still says is a part of New York State's "success story".

Black bear populations continue to expand into areas occupied historically. DEC encourages New Yorkers to learn the BearWise basics to help live more responsibly with bears and reduce the likelihood of human-bear conflicts in their backyards.

In the Northern Zone, hunters harvested an estimated 485 bears, which is up 17 from last year. The Southern Zone also to 871 harvested, bringing the New York State total to 1,356 bears.

Read More: Beware of Bears Coming Out of Hibernation in New York

BirdImages from Getty Images Signature
BirdImages from Getty Images Signature
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Here's a full look at 2023's Estimated Bear Harvest Totals:

Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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The Fun Numbers

550 Pounds - The heaviest dressed-weight bear reported in 2023. This was taken in the town of Windsor, Broome County.

25 - Age of the oldest bear harvested in 2022. This was taken in the town of West Union, Steuben County. Bear teeth are still being harvested for 2023, which is needed to determine the age.

1 - The number of bears harvested in Region 7A (Between Oswego and Mexico, NY). This is the first bear reported in this region since they first began tracking harvest information in 1970.

Read More: NY Hunters Illegally Kill Bear & 2 Deer, Leaving Grandpa to Blame

Credit - Jennifer Schrodt
Credit - Jennifer Schrodt
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The DEC gets Black bear harvest data from two main sources: harvest reports from hunters and physical examination information, provided by DEC staff and taxidermists. These sources are then cross-references, allowing them to create the most accurate estimates possible.

12 Of New York State's Most Wanted Criminals- March 2024

Below are individuals wanted by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision's (DOCCS) Office of Special Investigations who have been designated as its Most Wanted Fugitives. They should be considered armed and dangerous. This list is current as of 3/01/2024:

NEVER attempt to apprehend a fugitive yourself. If you have information on the location of any of these fugitives, you can contact OSI 24 hours a day / 7 days a week to report it. All leads and tips are treated as confidential information.

If an immediate response is necessary, such as you see the wanted person at a location, please call “911” and report it to the police.

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

13 Restaurants & Businesses That Closed in 2023

Retirement and consolidation are just some of the reasons we've lost several restaurants and businesses in Central New York in 2023.

Here are 13 locations that are no more.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

29 Kids Have Gone Missing in New York Already in 2024

29 kids have gone missing in the first two months of 2024. Take a look to see if you recognize any of them and can help bring them back home.

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10 Best NY Lotto Scratch-Offs To Buy In March

Based on odds of winning, here are the best lottery scratch-off games to buy right now in New York State to score some cash.

Gallery Credit: New York State Lottery/Canva

New York Home To 9 Of The Most Charming River Towns In America

We all know we are "River Rats" at heart here in New York State. When it comes to charming river towns, New York is home to the top ones in America. World Atlas published an article "9 Most Charming River Towns In Upstate New York To Visit In 2024." Here's who they highlighted:

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

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