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Black bear. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8749778@N06/12033862626/">Eric Kilby</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Black bear. Photo: Eric Kilby, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY hunters killed 1,358 bears in 2013 season

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) State officials say New York hunters killed 1,358 black bears during the 2013 hunting seasons, the second-highest number on record.

Figures released by the Department of Environmental Conservation on Monday show hunters killed a record 636 bears from the Southeastern hunting area and a near record 342 from the Central-Western area.

The agency says the high numbers reflect a growing bear population and an abundance of acorns and other nuts last fall.

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DEC released a draft bear management plan for public comment in January. It proposed several changes, including expanding the area open to bear hunting to encompass all of upstate New York. It also establishes a supplemental firearms season in September in the Catskills and lower Hudson Valley.

DEC anticipates publishing a final version of the plan this spring.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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