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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The New York State Deer herd of 800,000 animals is still over Dept of Conservation objectives even with 6-7000 Black Bears and a Summer Coyote population of 20-30,000 roaming the State's woodlands..........When we hear the rumblings from some of the Southern Appalachian States claiming that Coyotes are dampening their deer herds, it makes you wonder about the scientific conclusions those State Game Managers are putting forth............Politically charged messages fueled by hunting and farming groups in the South?........The Coyotes in the Southern Appalachians are not Eastern Coyotes mixed with Wolf DNA..............They are midwestern coyotes who have opportunistically migrated East over the past 100 years in the absence of Wolves and Pumas............Those coyotes are smaller than those found in NY..............Why would smaller coyotes be more opportunistic predators of deer fawns than the larger Eastern Coyotes up North??????????

Deer Herd remains robust alongside Black Bear, Coyote and Bobcat populations in NY State

ALBANY — Hunters in New York state harvested more than 228,350 deer and 1,250 bears during the 2011 hunting seasons, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens has announced.The deer take nearly matched the 2010 harvest while a new record was set for the bear take in southern New York.

"Deer and bear hunting are long-standing traditions in New York, providing a valuable source of food and a means of shared recreation for many families," Martens said in a press release. "Throughout the state, hunters play a crucial role by helping to maintain healthy and ecologically sound deer and bear populations."

Deer Harvest
The 2011 deer take varied less than 1 percent from the 2010 take statewide. In 2011, hunters took slightly more than 118,350 antlerless deer (adult females and fawns) and just over 110,000 adult male deer (bucks). In the Northern Zone, the buck take (about 15,900) was essentially unchanged from 2010, though the antlerless harvest (about 10,900) was down about 13 percent from last year. In the Southern Zone, excluding Long Island, the adult buck take (about 93,100) increased nearly 4 percent over last year while the antlerless harvest (about 105,400) decreased by 3 percent.

White tail Deer in NY

Last year marked the first year that crossbows were allowed as a legal hunting implement for deer. However, legislation limited crossbow use to the regular firearms seasons and subsequent muzzleloader seasons for deer. Relatively few hunters took crossbows afield and the estimated take by crossbows was only 491 deer statewide, less than 0.25 percent of the total deer harvest.

Throughout the state, hunters took a slightly higher proportion of 2.5-year-old and older bucks than in previous years, continuing a trend that has developed over the past two decades. Throughout most of New York, hunters can take a buck of any age, but an increasing number of hunters are voluntarily choosing to take older bucks with larger antlers. In 2011, 46 percent of harvested bucks were 2.5 years old or older, compared to only 33 percent in 2000 and 28 percent in the early 1990s.

Eastern Coyoye in NY

Western New York and the Finger Lakes region perennially lead the state in total deer-harvest densities, and deer take in 2011 remained true to form. The top five counties for 2011 were Yates (16.4 total deer per square mile), Wyoming (13.8), Genesee (10.8), Ontario (10.5) and Livingston (10.0).
It's important to note that the total deer harvest is strongly impacted by the number of Deer Management Permits (DMPs) available in a given area, which govern the harvest of antlerless deer and are used to manage the deer population.

A more accurate picture of relative deer abundance is revealed by the number of bucks harvested per square mile. The five counties with the most bucks harvested per square mile were: Yates (5.6), Wyoming (5.4), Orange (4.1), Ontario (4.1) and Allegany (4.0). The deer populations in four of the counties listed above (all except Allegany County) are higher than the deer population objectives set for those counties. DEC will continue its efforts to reduce the deer population to achieve the desired density levels wherever necessary.

Bear Harvest
Outside of the Adirondack region, the 2011 bear harvest set new records, substantially exceeding previous record takes in central and western New York. In contrast, bear take in the Adirondack region dropped to a level not seen since 1998.

Hunters in southeastern New York harvested 630 bears in 2011, besting the previous record of 520 set in 2008. This was due in part to a new rule that expanded bear hunting in eastern New York state to include all or portions of seven new counties from Rockland and Westchester north to Washington beginning in 2011. Hunters took 50 bears from this new area, including 18 bears taken in Washington County, 11 in Rensselaer County, 10 in Columbia County, seven in Dutchess County, two in Putnam County and two in Rockland County. Yet even without these additional bears, take in the rest of the southeastern region exceeded previous record levels, reflecting a 25-year trend of generally increasing bear harvests in this region.

In central and western New York, the 2011 bear take of 353 greatly surpassed the previous record of 193 bears set in 2008. This was due in large part to a regulation change that moved the regular bear season opening day up one week to coincide with the start of the regular deer season. This change was implemented to reduce bear population growth and range expansion. Yet, as with bear take in the southeastern region, it is likely that even without these additional seven days of the regular season in the central-western region, bear take during the traditional season would have matched or exceeded the 2008 record, reflecting a 15-year trend of generally increasing bear harvests in this region.

In the Adirondacks, bear take was below the five-year average during each of the bear seasons and the overall bear take was down about 47 percent from 2010. Bear harvest rates in the Adirondacks typically drop in the early season during years of abundant soft mast (cherries, raspberries and apples), while the take will increase during the regular season in years with abundant beech nuts.This past season provided abundant soft mast, particularly raspberries and blackberries in September and October, and bear take during the early season was only 70 bears, about 70 percent below the five-year average. Beech nut abundance was mixed throughout the Adirondacks and the regular season bear take was approximately 15 percent below the five-year average. Additionally, much of the muzzleloading and regular season in the Adirondacks had above average temperatures and snow cover was inconsistent and relatively scarce, making bear hunting all the more challenging.

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