A hunter from the Hudson Valley is credited with the heaviest bear taken during the 2020 hunting season.

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New York State bear hunters took 1,723 black bears during the 2020 hunting seasons, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced on Monday. New York State bear hunters took 1,505 black bears during the 2019 hunting seasons.

According to data from the DEC, 1,723 bears taken is the highest the DEC has on record. The DEC's records date back to 1993.

"Black bears continue to prosper in New York's excellent bear habitat," Seggos state. "Bear hunting seasons allow DEC wildlife managers to collect valuable information that our scientists use to help maintain healthy bear populations. And successful bear hunters help maintain populations at sustainable levels and are rewarded with outstanding food for their families and friends."

Hunters took an estimated 1,152 bears in the Southern Zone, comparable to the record set in 2019, and 11 percent greater than the recent five-year average. While take in the regular season was lower than last year, hunters had record success during the early and bow seasons, officials say. The entire Hudson Valley is in the DEC's Southern Zone.

The heaviest bear reported to DEC in 2020 was harvested in Orange County. The beer taken in the town of Greenville weighed 550 pounds, officials say.

In the Northern Zone, hunters harvested an estimated 571 bears-the highest number since 2015, according to the DEC.

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