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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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Saturday, April 6, 2013

The third highest Black Bear kill in New York State is now in the record books as 2012 saw a poor mast year which forced the Bears to search far and wide for pre-hibernation foodstuffs............When Bears are on the move, they are easy targets for hunters.....................As a result, roughly 20% of the estimated 6-7,000 NY bruins(1,337) were shot down this past year...............The science of bear reproduction currently states that this type "kill" will not "sink" the population although to what extent it causes social disruption with females en route to winter dens with cubs of the year does not appear to be factored into hunting quotas in New York State(or anywhere)

Hunters Kill 1,337 Black Bears

in New York
There are eight species of bear and six are vulnerable or endangered. All are at risk of extinction in some countries.
Bear is rarely hunted for meat or fur but rather for "sport" or trophy value.
A hunter may prefer to use a large bullet that will break the bear's shoulder and continue through the vital organs, leaving an exit wound large enough to leave a blood trail to assist locating the downed animal. The expression "loaded for bear" is no exaggeration.
Many animals suffer prolonged, painful deaths when they are injured by hunters. Many hunters often spend hours tracking the blood trails of animals before finding them. Many are never found by hunters.
Aware and living in a state of fear,
bears, in areas where they are
hunted frequently, move only at
Asian markets place a high value on the medicinal properties of bear gallbladder and the taste of bear paw. Since many Asian bear species are imperiled, the market now depends on Russian, Canadian, and American bears. The high price paid for gallbladders and bear paws provides incentive for hunters to kill bears. Cubs are worth as much as adult bears. Many bears are poached as a result.
Hunters tend to favor calibers large enough to inflict as much tissue and bone damage as possible, since bears can withstand a number or direct shots to the limbs or torso. To successfully kill a bear, one may have to shoot it several times, so as to leave wounds that will cause the bear to hemorrhage to death quickly.
The best meat apparently comes from young bears which eat more berries than fish.
People have been killed while unloading their guns into a bear which keeps coming at them.
Even when overpopulation occurs, is with a camera. and starvation and disease occur, these are nature's ways of ensuring that healthy, strong animals survive and maintain the strength level of the group.
Black bears can be legally hunted in 27 U.S. states. Many of these states allow spring hunts, baiting, hounding, and the selling and trade of bear parts. It is estimated that between 40,000 to 50,000 bears are legally hunted in the U.S. each year. Many more are poached.
Hounding involves using dogs to chase and tree bears to provide hunters with easy targets. Hounding often separates mothers from their cubs, leaving the young orphaned or caught and devoured by the dogs.
Some say the best way to shoot a bear is with a camera.
The balance of ecosystems ensures survival. Natural predators help maintain this balance by killing the sickest and weakest individuals. Hunters, however, kill any animal including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong. Elephant poaching is believed to have increased the number of tuskless animals in Africa, and in Canada, hunting has caused bighorn sheep's horn size to fall by 25 percent in the last 40 years.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that
 New York hunters killed 1,337 black bears during the 2012 hunting seasons,
 making last year the third highest bear "harvest" on record in New York.

According to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, only the 2003 harvest, with 
1,864 bears taken, and 2009 harvest with 1,487 surpassed last year's take.
"New York has excellent bear habitat and vast, accessible public lands that
 offer exciting opportunities for bear hunting," said Martens. "Black bears are 
thriving in New York, and they represent a great resource for all New Yorkers."
Hunters found greatest success during the early season, because, after a
 summer of low natural food availability, with a general lack of soft and hard
 mast like apples, acorns and beechnuts, bears were moving in search of
 food and were closer to human food sources.

Hungry bears found feeding in cornfields were easy targets for hunters.
Since 2005, DEC has expanded the area open to bear hunting in
 Southeastern and Central-Western New York and increased season
 length, more closely aligning bear seasons with deer seasons, affording 
hunters out for deer to kill a bear.These actions were implemented to reduce
 bear population growth and range expansion and increase hunting fees for the state.

Black Bear

The black bear is New York's second largest land mammal; only the moose is
 larger. An average adult male weighs about 300 pounds while females average
 about 170 pounds. The largest bear reported from New York weighed approximately
 750 pounds. Black bears are omnivorous, eating grasses, berries, fruit, nuts, seeds,
 insects, grubs, and carrion, as well as human sources of food like corn, honey, bird 
seed, trash, and pet food when available.
Although the color of black bears actually varies widely in other parts of North America,
 over 99.9% of the black bears in New York are jet black in color with a brown muzzle.
Once thought to inhabit only large forests, over the past two decades, black bears have
 been expanding their range throughout New York and can now be found in a variety of
 habitats including developed areas. As recently as the mid-1990s, black bears occupied
 three relatively distinct ranges: Adirondack, Catskill, and Allegany. The areas open to bear
 hunting (see Bear Hunting Seasons) show the approximate location of these ranges.
 Currently, bears occupy habitat across the Southern Tier and it is now more appropriate
 to refer to Northern and Southern Bear Ranges. New York's 6,000-7,000 black bears are
 great travelers and occasionally pass through virtually every upstate county of our state.
The Adirondack region in the Northern Bear Range is home to the largest black bear 
population in New York State (4,000 to 5,000 bears) and the Catskill region in the
 Southern Bear Range contains the second largest population (1,500 to 2,000).
 The Allegany portion of the Southern Bear Range has a smaller but growing population
 of bears (300-500). If you live or recreate in these areas of New York you may expect at 
some time to see, or in some other manner encounter, a black bear. One of the more 
common encounters occurs when bears obtain food from human sources.

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