Hunters in the region killed a record number of bears this season.

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New York State bear hunters took 1,505 black bears during the 2019 hunting seasons, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced Thursday.

The 2019 bear harvest played out differently across the state. Hunters took a record 1,179 bears in the Southern Zone, which includes the Hudson Valley, while hunters in the Northern Zone took 326 bears, the fewest since 2011.

The DEC believes hunters in the Southern Zone had success because of a below-average harvest in 2018 due to early snowfall and early denning by bears that year. Hunters were able to capitalize on the availability of more bears in 2019.

According to the DEC, 2.8 bears were harvested per 10 square miles in Wildlife Management Unit 3K, which includes southern Sullivan County and a portion of Orange County. The town of Tusten in Sullivan County yielded 4.0 bears for every 10 square miles.

On Nov. 16, 2019, the opening day of the regular firearms season in the Southern Zone, 157 bears were killed, which marks the greatest number of bears reported taken on any day, officials say.