Hunters in Cattaraugus County took 47 black bears in 2020, five fewer than the year before, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation report.
In Allegany County, the opposite was true: hunters took 56 bears last year, five more than in 2019.
Twenty-eight of the bears killed in Cattaraugus County were taken with firearms, while there were 19 successful bowhunters.
The towns of Great Valley and Coldspring were the top towns, with six bears taken in each town in 2020.
Hunters shot five bears each in the towns of Allegany and Napoli. There were three bears taken in Hinsdale and South Valley and two bears each in the towns of Ashford, East Otto and Yorkshire. There was one bear taken each in the towns of Carrollton, Conewango, Ellicottville, Humphrey, Leon, Machias, Olean, Otto, Perrysburg, Portville and Randolph.
By comparison, in 2019, of the 52 bears harvested by hunters in Cattaraugus County, 34 were taken by firearms hunters and 18 by bowhunters.
South Valley was far and away the site of the most successful bear hunters, with 10 taken in 2019. Coldspring had six successful bear hunters, Carrollton, 5; Hinsdale, Allegany and Randolph, three each, and Olean, Napoli and Great Valley, two each.
Hunters reported killing one bear each in the following towns in 2019: Dayton, East Otto, Farmersville, Humphrey, Leon, Ischua, Little Valley, Machias, Mansfield, New Albion, Persia and Salamanca.
In Allegany County, the 56 bears harvested in 2020 included 30 by hunters with firearms and 24 with bows. That compares to 29 by firearms and 21 by archers in 2019.
The 2020 DEC bear harvest report shows the town of Willing as the top town in Allegany County with 11 bear kills.
The town of Independence followed with six bears, Grove and Amity had four each and Alfred, Alma and Genesee each had three bears killed. There were two each in the towns of Andover, Belfast, Birdsall, Bolivar and Granger. One bear was killed in Allen, Almond, Angelica, Burns, Caneadea, Cuba, Hume, New Hudson, Rushford, Wellsville, West Almond and Wirt.
In 2019, the town of Amity was tops in successful bear hunters in Allegany County. Five bears were killed in Genesee, four in Wellsville and Scio, three each in Alma, Angelica and New Hudson.
Two bears were killed by hunters in Belfast, Birdsall, Bolivar, Caneadea, Clarksville and West Almond. One bear was killed in Allen, Burns, Cuba, Friendship, Grove, Hume, Rushford and Wirt in 2019.
Across New York state, 1,505 bears were killed in 2019 — including 812 by firearms and 371 by bowhunters. In 2020, there were a total of 1,723 bears killed, including 517 in the during the gun season and 464 successful bowhunters.
Hunters in the Southern Zone, which includes Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, reported harvesting 1,152 bears in 2020, including 366 in the early season, 417 during fall archery season, three during muzzleloader season, 356 during the regular season and 10 during youth season.
In 2019, 1,179 bears were harvested in the Southern Zone, including 248 in the early season, 371 in bow season, 47 in muzzleloading season, 832 in regular season and seven during youth season.
In 2020, a 428-pound male bear (dressed) shot in the town of Arkwright in Chautauqua County was the fifth biggest in the state. A 550-pound male taken in Orange County was the heaviest bear recorded.
Two Southern Zone bears were in the top 10 in 2019.
A male bear from the Chautauqua County town of Harmony, with a dressed weight of 480 pounds, was No. 2 that year. A 425-pound male from the town of Allen in Allegany County was the ninth heaviest bear in the state in 2019.
The heaviest bear recorded in New York in 2019 was a 643-pound male, shot in Sullivan County shot with a bow.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)