(WETM) – The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has announced bear harvest totals across the state for 2022, saying the overall number declined slightly from the year before. However, the top three heaviest bears were all reported in the Southern Tier.

Of the 1,318 harvested across the Empire State, an impressive 15% (196)of those were harvested in the Southern Tier across 10 counties (Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates).

Broome County was home to the biggest bear harvested last year. During bowhunting season, a 520-pound female was killed in the Town of Windsor. The second and third-largest, both at 500 lbs. were killed in Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.

The DEC said that across the state, in both the Northern and Southern Zones, a total of 1,318 bears were harvested in 2022. While Northern totals increased from 2021, the Southern Zone’s numbers slightly fell. Overall, NYS killed 28 fewer bears in 2022 than the year before.

Below are the totals for each county in the Southern Tier:

  • Allegany – 38
  • Broome – 26
  • Cattaraugus – 46
  • Chemung – 20
  • Schuyler – 4
  • Seneca – 1
  • Steuben – 46
  • Tioga – 7
  • Tompkins – 2
  • Yates – 6

While the local numbers are impressive, the DEC said the biggest county harvests were reported in the Catskills. Delaware and Sullivan Counties each reported over 100 bears killed. This follows the DEC’s goals of reducing the higher-density bear populations in the Catskills, while the department hopes to “maintain generally moderate population density” in the Southern Tier.

The DEC’s full report can be seen here.