Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally
ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer -
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME DEPARTMENT WILDLIFE DIVISION
16 November 2017
Bear Season Update #5
As of November 16th, 534 bears (291 males, 243 females) have been reported to the bear project. Bait hunters harvested 321 bears (186 males, 135 females), still hunters/stalkers have taken 114 bears (60 males, 54 females) and hound hunters have registered 99 bears (45 males, 54 females). The current overall harvest sex ratio is 1.2 males per female. Method-specific harvest sex ratios include 1.4, 1.1 and 0.8 m:f for bait, still and hound hunters, respectively.
On a regional basis, 97 bears (45 males, 52 females, 0.9 m:f) have been taken in the North, 156 (93 males, 63 females, 1.5 m:f) in the White Mountains, 173 (91 males, 82 females, 1.1 m:f) in the Central, 60 (34 males, 26 females, 1.3 m:f) in Southwest-1, 46 (26 males, 20 females, 1.3 m:f) in Southwest-2 and 2 (both males) in the Southeast region. A surge in bear harvest has occurred since the beginning of muzzleloader deer season and has continued through deer firearms season. Acorn and beechnut crops remain abundant and opportunistic deer hunters have taken 22 bears over the past 2+ weeks. A few additional bears will likely be taken in the White Mountains and Central region prior to those regions closing to bear hunting on November 21st.
Below is a breakdown of the bear harvest through November 12th for the past 6 years. This year’s harvest continues to run 29% below the 5-year in-season average (749 bears) and 40% below the 2016 tally (889 bears) at this point in the season. When comparing this year’s harvest to previous years, it is important to recall that above-average bear harvests were achieved during 2 of the last 6 years (2012 and 2016). Furthermore, 2016 represented a record state bear harvest (898 bears) and this year’s harvest will not reach that level given the increased abundance of natural foods this fall. In terms of harvest numbers, the current season is tracking relatively similar to that of 2013 when the total bear killed equaled 572.
The bait and hound hunting portions of the season have ended statewide. Additionally, the entire bear hunting season has ended in the North, Southwest-1 and 2 and Southeast regions. The still hunting season will end in the Central and White Mountains regions on November 21st.
Please continue to submit all bear registration slips and premolars with deer data mailings during the remainder of the 2017 bear season. Additionally, please submit any outstanding registration slips and premolars to the Wildlife Division in Concord by Friday, December 8th. Thanks again for your assistance with registering bears this fall.
2017 IN-SEASON BEAR HARVEST TALLY COMPARED TO PREVIOUS 5 YEARS
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